Title: Natural Disasters (Surviving an Extrovert Remix)
Author: Vesper (Regina)
Category: Remix, Five Things
Characters: Ootori Kyouya, Suoh Tamaki.
Summary: "There is no such thing as bad weather..." Or, five times Tamaki invaded Kyouya's space. 1656 words.
Archival: If you wish to archive, please link to my website. Please keep all my headers intact.
Notes: Inspired by "This Must Be How Commoners Merely Survive Instead of Expanding Their Empires for Greater Glory" by peroxidepest17.
For some reason, Tamaki always has the perfect timing (of the innately innocent and completely exasperating kind) to strand himself at Kyouya's house in bad weather.
Kyouya really doesn't care one way or the other. Except that he really, really does. That is, when he starts to notice it.
"Do you ever watch the weather?" he asks, pinching at the bridge of his nose. His glasses are held by the crossed ear pieces in the loose grasp of his other hand.
Tamaki looks up for a moment, pulling out a book from the backpack he's brought with him. "What?"
Outside, the wind batters against the large windows of Kyouya's room, and a few seconds later hail begins to fall. Tamaki opens his book, without a second glance outside, and Kyouya narrows his eyes at him. It goes unnoticed, even when his eyebrows tighten into a deeper frown. Where are the shrieks, the clinging?
"Nothing," Kyouya answers, when Tamaki doesn't look up at all, and goes to get some tea, putting his glasses back on. Eventually Tamaki is going to reach, without looking, for it, and Kyouya needs its calming influence if he's going to survive having Tamaki here.
When the tsunami hits Japan, Kyouya is not there. He's in New York, to sign a contract. His routine has never changed from high school, and the websites he reads are where he first learns of it. 'Tamaki,' he thinks, an instinctual response. He swallows hard against the panic that rises up. It's irrational, and unwarranted, and useless. Tamaki and Haruhi are in France.
Still, his fingers hover over the keys of his phone. It rings in his hand, before he can dial. It's Mori, who lets him know he and Hani are okay.
He asks about his other classmates. Mori tells him he hasn't heard from them.
The next call is his secretary, who asks if he's heard the news, and what they are going to do to offer aid. After that, there's little time to call his friends.
Eventually, he learns they are all okay. Renge posts to her blog. Hikaru leaves a text message, an exact copy of Kaoru's own: "Alive and well, Mom." He calls Tamaki long, long hours after the morning, and he forgets to calculate the time difference.
"We're fine," is the first thing Tamaki says, and then, "Are you?"
Kyouya lets out a breath he didn't know he was holding. "I've been better," he answers.
Kyouya answers the door and recoils (but not much; he just blinks and backs up a bare inch).
Tamaki sneezes. It's caught behind the mask he's wearing. His eyes above the mask are red and watery, and he reaches up to rub at his nose with his forearm.
"Can I have some tea?" he asks.
"What's wrong with you?" Kyouya fires back.
"I have a cold," Tamaki whines, and it sounds worse because all the consonants are stifled. Behind him, the snow that was just a few flakes, earlier, is starting to become flurries.
"Come in," he says, and turns his back on Tamaki. He makes his way to the kitchen, thumbing open his phone to check the weather.
It's predicting ten inches by the end of the day. Still, much better than snow country. He finds himself wondering if he should take Tamaki there. They've been everywhere else.
When he comes back with tea, Tamaki has his legs and hands stuffed under the kotatsu in his room, head down on the top, sniffling.
"Here," Kyouya says and puts the tea down, along with a packet of over-the-counter painkillers.
Tamaki snuggles deeper and rubs his cheek on the kotatsu. "'s warm," he says.
Kyouya rolls his eyes, and walks past Tamaki to the other side of the room, well away from Tamaki's germs and boneless heap of a body.
He's been trading online for twenty minutes when he loses the connection. He tries reconnecting, but the 404 page stubbornly resists resolving. He stares at it, as if giving it a stiff, disappointed look will work. It doesn't, of course, so he sighs and looks over at Tamaki.
He's asleep, and a line of drool is seeping out, making a damp spot on the mask he's pulled down to his chin. His hand is curled around the cup of tea.
Kyouya looks away, back to his Pineapple, and tries to reconnect again, even though a quick look at the router tells him it's dead. He looks outside, at the snow falling thick, heavy, and cloistering, and sighs, noting that he's done that quite a few times already. He gets up, grabs the comforter from his bed, and goes over to Tamaki. As he does so, the power goes out, leaving the room dim, the only light coming from the battery-powered laptop.
It doesn't look like he's going to finish his business online. He considers the laptop, and Tamaki, still asleep at his feet. He drapes the blanket over him.
He stirs enough to blink bleary eyes at Kyouya. He opens them wider, and raises his head off the table.
"What happened?" he asks.
"The power is out, I lost the chance to purchase a controlling share in Chrysler, and you are drooling on my table."
"I'm cold," Tamaki answers, and Kyouya can see him shivering, even under the comforter. "And I can't feel my legs!" He looks up at Kyouya, and even through the red, watery mess of them, the appeal comes through.
Kyouya says, tone dry, "You fell asleep and they're probably just asleep, as well."
Tamaki tries stretching out of the cross-legged position he's in and whimpers.
Kyouya sits down beside him, and Tamaki scoots closer to him. Kyouya reaches over and pulls the mask back over Tamaki's face, and says, "We're not going to freeze, if that's what you're thinking."
Tamaki says, "You're the bestest friend," and puts his head on Kyouya's shoulder.
"Please don't drool on me," Kyouya says.
"It's seven a.m. on a Saturday morning, Tamaki. What do you want?"
Tamaki's eyes are so bright they might as well be little halogen lamps. He has his blond hair buried underneath a pom-pom outfitted winter cap with flaps over his ears, and is wearing a warm-looking pea coat. In one arm he's clutching a snow shovel. In the other, he has an empty laundry basket.
Kyouya can't figure out which of them worries him more.
"It snowed!" Tamaki proclaims. "And I want to build a fort!"
Kyouya says, "That explains the shovel. What about the laundry basket?"
"And I want to have a snowball fight! This will hold the snowballs!"
"Do you ever speak in anything but exclamations?"
Tamaki ignores that and shoves the laundry basket at Kyouya. Kyouya doesn't take it, but Tamaki only looks hurt for a split second, before asking, "Are you ready?"
"No, I'm not ready. I haven't had my morning coffee and I'm not about to go out into the freezing cold without it."
Tamaki says, "Oh," and shuffles his feet on the doorstep, looking down.
"For heaven's sake, come in already. Leave the shovel outside."
Tamaki sets the laundry basket down inside the front door, when Kyouya points at where he should set it. He follows Kyouya, as he leads him to the kitchen.
Tamaki sits down at the bar in the kitchen, still with that ridiculous hat on, while Kyouya sets about making coffee. "Stay," he tells Tamaki and leaves the room, only to come back with his laptop in a few minutes.
Tamaki is quiet, looking around. Kyouya sits down beside him, opening up his laptop and bringing up a set of tabs.
He reads, conscious of Tamaki there only as a periphery characteristic of the room. This, although the literal coffee helps, is what really wakes him up.
Finally, he closes the laptop, to find that Tamaki has put a steaming mug next to him, and is sitting again, sipping at his own. "Done?" he asks.
"Done," Kyouya says, and reaches for his coffee.
"Did I do it right?" Tamaki asks, but doesn't bother to wait for the answer, instead going on, "I seem to remember you like the sugar, but not the cream. Is it okay?"
"It's fine. Now be quiet before I pour it over your head, will you?" Kyouya says, and tempers his statement by smiling.
"You wouldn't dare."
"Hmm, maybe," Kyouya says, "but there's always snowballs."
Kyouya keeps his word by stuffing as many handfuls of snow as he can down the back of Tamaki's coat. They laugh when Fuyumi catches them, and says, "My, my, my, Kyouya, it's so nice to see you having fun."
Tamaki takes Kyouya's coat as revenge.
Rain sheets down the windows of the piano room in Kyouya's house. There are occasional flashes of lightning far away, with the accompanying rumbles of thunder. Kyouya stands close to the windows, but he really can't see anything through them except blobs of color.
There is the sound of the piano, elegant, poignant, against the backdrop of nature crying. Tamaki is playing.
Sometimes, Kyouya thinks, the only reason Tamaki and he are friends is because they have the freedom to be themselves only in each other's presence. Tamaki is effusive and loud, but only because he's swayed by his emotions far more easily than Kyouya himself. And the only reason Kyouya loses it sometimes is because only Tamaki can push him into it.
It's comforting, in a way.
Really, the only reason they are friends, is because of Tamaki, and his playing music, and cutting through all the cacophony of his own noise, to let Kyouya see what was really there. Really, Kyouya would be a fool to push away the only person who could be that honest, and who could bring out the same in him.
The rain falls. 'There is no bad weather,' Kyouya quotes to himself, 'only different kinds of good weather.'
More notes: Quote at the end is, in full, "Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." John Ruskin.
Also, very loosely inspired by the informational list "Top Ten Myths About Introverts."