Disclaimer: Though I wish I owned the Hitachiin brothers, alas, I do not. They belong to Hatori Bisco. That said, please enjoy the story!
"Kaoru…you have crumbs on your face."
"Eh?" I lifted my hand to wipe my mouth, but my twin locked our fingers together with one hand and ran his thumb over my bottom lip with the other. A shiver of pleasure ran up my spine, and I turned away, blushing fiercely. "Hikaru, don't…it's embarrassing…" I whined softly, my heart pounding almost painfully at the lustful emotions this simple action caused. It was getting worse…I noticed Hikaru's eyes shift just enough to stare past me, and I turned to see Haruhi being harassed by Tono. My heart dropped and a surge of jealousy dashed through me.
Beside us the princesses were practically oozing out of their seats, but I couldn't bring myself to care. The room suddenly felt unbearably hot and my hand burned where Hikaru held it. The emotions running through me were confusing to say the least and before I knew what I was doing, I had jerked my hand away and was fleeing from the room. I could feel Kyoya-Sempai's cold and calculating stare at my back as he factored in the money I had lost us for the day and, just before the doors closed, I could hear Hikaru calling my name.
Not knowing where else to go, I ran to the nearest restroom. I stared at my reflection in the mirror. It was so familiar and yet, looking at myself, I felt none of the emotions I had felt only moments ago with Hikaru. I wasn't stupid; I knew that looking at Hikaru and feeling that…that…infatuation was not only incredibly wrong, but a sick form of narcissism. I turned away, disgusted with myself. Clenching my hair in my fists, I slid down the wall until I was slumped on the floor. What was wrong with me? When had I become so twisted inside?
"Kaoru!" I stiffened. Hikaru was right outside the door. As soundlessly as I could, I got up and slipped into one of the stalls, locking the door. "Kaoru! Where are you?" I bit my lip, trying to ignore how concerned that voice was. Hikaru loved me a lot, I knew, but it was times like this when his care and concern hurt me the most. Because he loved me like a brother…just a brother. A few tears slid down my cheek, and I brushed them away annoyed with myself. Of course he loved me like a brother! That's the way it's supposed to be! "Kaoru?"
The door to the bathroom creaked open. "Kaoru, are you in here?" I held my breath, praying that he would give up, but I knew he wouldn't; he was too stubborn. His footsteps stopped in front of my stall and I could hear him sigh. "Kaoru, I know you're in there. I can see your shoes." Idiot, I hissed to myself. When I remained where I was, he knocked on the stall lightly. "Kaoru, open the door."
"N-no…" My voice came out hoarse from crying. I cringed, hoping he wouldn't notice.
"Kaoru? What's wrong with your voice?" Fuck my life.
"Nothing…I just…" I stopped, having no idea what to say.
"Are you sick?" I sighed, thankful for the easy out.
"Uh, un…I don't feel well."
"Open the door, Kaoru." Wiping my eyes, I slid the lock out of place. As soon as it was unlocked, the door flew open and I was left staring at my other half. Without wasting another minute, he touched his forehead to mine and frowned. "You don't feel warm." It took me a minute to recover my senses, but as soon as I did, I shook my head, taking a step back.
"M-maybe it's something I ate. Anyway, you should go back to Host Club. I'll call someone to pick me up and meet you at home, nee?" Hikaru's frown deepened as his amber eyes bored into mine. After a moment's pause, he lifted a finger and poked my forehead.
"Baka. As if I'm going to let you go home alone. Come on. We'll go together." I cringed inwardly as he wrapped an arm around my shoulders. Damn it all, I should not be feeling this way about my brother! I shifted out of his embrace but his fingers locked around my wrist, pulling me back to face him. "Kaoru, what's going on? Why are you acting so distant?" I only hesitated a moment before answering.
"I'm not. I just feel warm and your body heat isn't helping." He frowned again, but this time didn't question it.
"Fine. As soon as we get home, you're going to bed."
The ride home was practically silent. I kept my forehead pressed against the cool window pain, trying my best to ignore the person beside me. Hikaru was watching me though; I could feel it. I knew he was trying to figure out what was going on, but I couldn't let him. The thought of my beloved brother looking at me in disgust was enough to make my stomach curdle. No, Hikaru must never find out my feelings. Ever.
"Kaoru…? We're here." I jerked up, and nodded dumbly, opening my door. The cool breeze was welcoming and it helped to clear my head. As I made my way towards the front door, I noticed Hikaru sulking beside me. I withheld a sigh; I hated making him worry.
As soon as we were inside, I made a beeline for my room. Every few nights Hikaru and I would switch between our two rooms; Hikaru hated sleeping alone. But lately it had become almost unbearably painful to be so close to him. I would often find myself awake at odd hours of the night; I would sit up in bed and just watch my twin's chest rise and fall in sleep's loving embrace, until I couldn't take it. I'd scoot to the farthest edge of the mattress, ignoring my body and emotions, and stare at the wall until the morning came.
I tossed my bag onto my bed and went to close my door, but Hikaru was there before I could even touch the doorknob. I let my hand drop to my side, my eyes on the floor. Hikaru took a few steps towards me, carefully sweeping my bangs out of my eyes with two fingers. His hand lingered there for a moment, before he pulled it back. I bit the inside of my cheek, trying to keep my emotions at bay.
"Kaoru, what's wrong?" His voice was gentle. I shook my head slowly.
"Nothing's wrong, Hikaru. Really."
"You're lying." I bit my cheek harder, daring myself to ask the million-dollar question.
"It's just…Hikaru, do you…do you like Haruhi?" A blush crept up my twin's face and my heart fell to the floor. So it was true.
"Kaoru…w-what is this? Why so sudden…?" I forced myself to smile, placing a hand on my brother's shoulder.
"It's nothing. But if you like her, you better make your move. Tono's pretty hopeless, but he's your rival now." Hikaru looked at me, a strange emotion in his amber eyes.
"Kaoru…" Keeping up the act, I stretched and yawned, taking a few steps towards the bed.
"I'm really tired, so I'll be going to bed first, okay?" Hikaru just stared at me for a moment before nodding.
"Do you want me to bring you some soup?" I shook my head that smile still painted on my face.
"Iie, I'll be fine." Hikaru stared at me for a moment longer before stepping out and closing the door softly behind him. As soon as he was gone I sighed, flopped on the bed, and buried my head in my pillow.
So this was it then. My brother liked someone else. And why shouldn't he? He was a healthy young man. And Haruhi was a good person. She was nice, caring, considerate…she would make my brother happy. So why then did my heart hurt so badly? I knew this day would come; it was inevitable. I had selfishly kept Hikaru to myself for all these years, and now…and now…
I groaned as the tears came back full force. I had held my brother back long enough. He deserved to be happy; he deserved Haruhi. After all, they made a picture perfect couple…and in that picture, there was no room for me. So it was decided then. I would have to leave. I sat up and looked around the room. Posters decorated the walls, various electronics were scattered across my desk…but all that stuff was meaningless. Besides, I thought with a twisted smile, it would only remind me of Hikaru.
So, clothes then, I reasoned. I would need to pack some clothes. And as for money, I had my bank card…if I took out small amounts at different banks, it would be harder to track me down. I could rent an apartment or something of the like. My mind instantly went back to Haruhi's apartment. It had seemed so small…b-but I could live like thar. It was cozy, right? Right. And it wouldn't be crowded because it would just be me. I grit my teeth as more tears trickled down my face. Giving up my brother…could I really do that?
Without waiting for an answer that I didn't want to hear, I stood up and grabbed the suitcase from my closet. I packed my more discrete items of clothing and left what would stick out on the streets. I knew Hikaru would go looking for me, and it would be easier on everyone if I just remained unfound. Hiding my suitcase at the back of the closet, I closed the doors just as Hikaru came in. He paused when he saw me out of bed.
"Kaoru?" I just smiled, heading over to my dresser and grabbing the first pair of pajamas I saw.
"I forgot to change," I mumbled under my breath. Hikaru nodded and moved to sit on the edge of my bed. I tensed, not wanting to strip in front of him. The thought of those eyes on my naked skin…I shook my head. No, that was stupid. We were twins. Gathering up as much courage as I could muster, I changed quickly and went back to the bed. I flopped down on my side, facing away from Hikaru. He just sighed and lay down on his back. We stayed like this for a while until Hikaru turned onto his side, trying to see my face. "Kaoru…? Are you sleeping?"
I closed my eyes, forcing my breath to come out in slow, even sighs. I felt Hikaru watching me, but I refused to let my body respond. He sighed. I nearly started as his fingers began to play with my hair, but I caught myself just in time. With another heaving sigh, he pulled his hand back and placed his head against my back, wrapping his arms around me. My breath caught for a moment before I forced the charade on. You're cruel, Hikaru I thought to myself. But I knew he didn't mean any harm; I think that's what hurt the most.
After what felt like an eternity, I could feel my brother's soft, even breaths against my back. I glanced out the window; the sun was setting. Mother and Father were away on business; I wouldn't even get to say goodbye. But maybe it was better this way. As gently as I could, I wriggled out of Hikaru's embrace. His sleeping form groaned and reached out across my side of the bed. I picked up my pillow and placed it in his arms. That seemed to appease him; he nestled his head into it and sighed.
I bit my lip against the tears that threatened to fall. I turned away, but something pulled me back. Before I could stop myself, or even think about what I was doing, I was leaning over my brother, my lips pressed lightly to his cheek. I jumped back when I realized what I had just done. God, what was wrong with me? I stared at my brother incredulously, my mind racing. See, Hikaru? See what you do to me? As quietly as I could, I made my way over to the closet, and retrieved my suitcase. With one last look at my other half, I turned and walked out of the room.
Leaving the house was almost too easy. The maids were either getting ready for bed or preparing for the following day. Hell, I even walked out the front door. I half expected someone to stop me, and I even had visions of Hikaru grabbing my arm and forcing me back to bed, but by the time I was at the end of the driveway, I realized no one was coming. It was a lonely thought. I wondered when Hikaru would notice, what he would say, what Mother and Father would say. What about the Host Club? I shook my head, trying to clear it. It didn't matter what anyone thought. I was doing this for Hikaru. Without a single glance back at what had been my home, I began my long trek into the more common parts of town.