3 months. You have every right to hate me. Bit of a non-moving chapter... D: Dearest apologies, but let's leave excuses and dawdling to the end. We have a story to continue, my friends. FIRST...a summary of what has happened so far for those of you who are like me and can't remember anything that has happened in a story after more than a day has passed since its last update.
~Previously in Forgotten: Kaoru's slowly losing his mind, encountering reminders of a past he can't actually recall and faced with a hallucination that's haunting him with emotions he can't understand. Meanwhile, Hikaru's stuck halfway across the world with a new friend called Himari, believing his brother dead; that is, until Himari returns to Japan for the summer holidays and accidentally bumps into the younger Hitachiin and Haruhi... Now, for the chance to destroy the lie once and for all; will Hikaru finally stop sulking in his corner and take action?
~Teacups and the Sounds of Shattering Porcelain~
Himari stretched her arms around her sleeping brother's form, silently admiring the tiny patch of stars lighting the skies outside her small window. She could feel her breath gently rushing in and out, synchronised with her heart. Every few minutes, there would be a slight hitch, as she thought back. What if she had done the wrong thing? Haruhi had warned her not to mention Hikaru in front of Kaoru, but nothing had been said about telling Hikaru anything. Even then…she sighed inwardly, scolding herself for being such an interfering person, but even so, it was too much to think about.
The way Kaoru had reacted upon the mention of Hikaru; it was as if Hikaru had never existed to him, not even a whisper or a mention, just another stranger in the world – he hadn't reacted. And then, there was that Hikaru had said Kaoru was dead. Perhaps she'd interpreted it wrong? Maybe he had meant 'dead to me'.
William growled in his sleep, his left hand weakly reaching out to paw at the wall. Himari tightened her arms around him and he quickly went back to dreaming.
Her eyes fell on a heavy ballpoint pen resting calmly nigh the edge of the study desk cramped with school papers and company reports alike. Himari saw those huge brown eyes so alike her own that she smiled gently, remembering the kind Haruhi, and the advice she'd given.
'Kyouya-senpai…who's that?'Himari questioned aloud, the words slamming straight into her brother's head, and causing a ripple effect in his short soft hair.
I have to find him, but without Kaoru finding out…how? What have I done? By now, Hikaru would have seen the photograph, and Himari could not possibly guess what she had begun. With no idea of the relationship between these two boys, she had kicked the first domino, hard.
Kaoru…is that really you?
The photograph was etched in his mind, the familiar faces, and the unfamiliar realisation.
It had been seconds, since Hikaru had slumped to the floor, an expression of distress fixed permanently to his features. To Hikaru, it had been days, maybe even weeks, since the name Kaoru had registered in his catatonic brain. In that time, the maids had already dashed forward in a fright with their high anxious bursts of 'Hikaru-sama!'
He stared blankly towards the opposite wall, some part of his mind registering the little intact mobile phone ruefully resting at the base of the polished white. Some instinct told him to get up and get the phone, but his body refused to follow the command. Pale, shaking fingers tightened beneath him and dragged him onto the nearest sofa. Distantly, he understood that he was being fussed over, and it set off a trigger to be annoyed, but again, he felt dazed and merely slumped back, darkness engulfing him in its warm embrace. The last thing he saw was Kaoru's face frozen in the photograph, grinning up at him, as mysterious as Mona Lisa.
The table edge suddenly seemed to be getting closer…woah… Kaoru flailed wildly, his hand reaching out to clutch at the polished wooden surface. Black spots clouded his vision and a pressing weight landed on his head, compressing him and stealing the breath from his body. He wanted to collapse on the floor, but the stiff posture of his arm leaning against the tea table forced him static. Kaoru closed his eyes, forcing air in and out, puffing his cheeks outwards until the throbbing in his temple ceased slightly and became a muffled drum beat.
Just as his elbow bent outwards and Kaoru fell forwards, a reassuring hand firmly held his shoulder. Whoever it was, steadied the dazed teenager and guided him towards the pink couch nearby where squealing clients shuffled over rapidly to make space. They could almost see the spirals in his eyes before he snapped to attention.
'Kao-chan, are you okay?' the soft worried voice of Hani-senpai was swallowed by the cotton in Kaoru's head, it registered very distantly. Kaoru stared at him blankly.
Then rapidly, sound returned like a traffic jam, all the noises slamming him back. Where were the brakes? Kaoru winced inwardly. He looked down, admiring the light glimmering in the gold of the small host's blonde hair before turning his head slowly to the hand still gently resting on his shoulder.
'Kyouya-senpai, what's wrong?' he asked, ridiculously huge owlish eyes returning.
'I should be asking that question, Kaoru,' the bespectacled dark lord of the Host Club frowned, 'do you need to be excused from Host Club today?'
Kaoru smiled wryly, it was so un-Kyouya to even consider letting a host off for the day let alone actually proposition the idea, that it made Kaoru feel like he had just stabbed himself with a knife and needed serious treatment, rather than suffering from temporary minor fatigue.
'I'm fine, Kyouya-senpai. Don't worry, girls, I'm just a little sleepy that's all.' Kaoru yawned dramatically, and immediately, the signs of relief were fluttering onto the clients' pale faces.
Kyouya didn't seem so sure, but nonetheless, he stalked over to the King's side and sat down, back rigidly straight, and began scribbling notes in his legendary clipboard. Every few seconds, he snuck a glance towards the young Hitachiin, worried.
Kaoru wrapped his thin finger around the equally thin porcelain Worcester handle and tested the weight of the heavy teacup. It felt unnaturally full. As if sensing the eyes that were boring into his head from all around the room, he lifted the small cup, fighting the quiver that his hand could not help but exhibit. The warm brown tea shimmered as ripples formed on the surface, clashing with each other before sinking into silence; only the spiralling leaves beneath was any indication of true turmoil.
He sipped, allowing the tasteless concoction to be swallowed. Then he smiled, oh so perfectly.
It was too quiet, but he could think of nothing to say. The three young ladies sitting before him blinked in rapture, somehow caught by his silence. He glanced down into the teacup, chuckling as he wondered if it was poisoned.
Instead, he saw himself, and someone not quite himself.
The teacup fell to the tiles, and shattered.
Dusk crept in, its red fingers slinking around, dashing into the smallest crevices, dominating the large expansive room. Hikaru mumbled something in his sleep; a garbled jumble of truth and dreams. He shied away beneath the covers, until the fiery evening light graced none but his burning devilish locks, like a flame on the silky sheets. His face was ashen, hidden in the shadows, and lonely. No matter how hard the sun tried in its last attempts to reach him through the glass, no amount of dodging curtains or blankets could allow it to lay a flush upon his white angelic space. How it wanted to, though.
Hikaru shifted, sticking a hand out from under the blankets, resting peacefully on the edge of the covers. Shadows danced around the room as the sun sank away, creating a translucent copy of him, lying stretched out beside his form, as close as a twin, but further away than reality.
Their hands were touching, but Hikaru knew better than to believe the fantasy. It was too late to believe in fantasy. Reality was just around the corner.
Hikaru gripped the corner of his blanket with both hands, tossing onto his right side and facing the blank opposite wall with a frustrated expression wrinkling the small space between his eyebrows. Behind him, he could sense the barely-injured phone frowning at his back, still recovering from its earlier accident.
'Could it be true?' he demanded of thin air.
The clock replied monotonously with a quiet tick. It could have been a joke, Hikaru reasoned, an immensely sick joke. But even that was improbable. Himari was a well-mannered kind-hearted girl, and even Hikaru knew that he was grasping invisible non-existent straws.
Hikaru sighed, listening as his breath echoed in the large empty room.
He reached for the phone atop his bedside table. The exterior plastic was cold to the touch. For a moment, Hikaru hesitated, unsure if he was placing himself in the firing range of humiliation; what if it really was just a prank? He flipped open the screen, squinting as his eyes slowly adjusted to the small bright display, and began to type.
The fax machine beeped informatively, a small LED light blinking in the gloomy, sterile atmosphere of the office. An unimposing figure sat at the desk, his back perfectly straight, with a troubled frown across his features.
Both of them are starting to realise… just how much longer will this last before it all falls apart?
Complicated diagrams of hardware components were neatly stacked in their sub-categories on the desk, sorted into their respective piles and labelled. Instead of focusing on these, the man found himself dwelling on a photograph. A photograph of two boys, dated back ten years.
There came a light knocking at the door, and quickly, the man slid the photograph into a desk drawer, carefully tucking it beneath a heavy filed report, away from curious eyes.
How much longer?
A/N: *bows head in shame* I'm sorry to have prioritised my school work over you guys. :( I was very happy every time a notification showed up in my email telling me someone else liked my story. At the same time very guilty for not updating. Thanks to Ray-Kat-Hollows, AKB 4evr, Noa Nee, Broken Obscurity, PrevalentMasters, Kaoru Iwakura, SageStormAshes, unbesiegt and yuffie111 for making me feel better whilst i was fighting that brick wall of a writer's block! :)
Noa Nee, I get what you're thinking definitely, but I've always thought of the parents has "having the best intentions in mind". And it might cause a lot of problems if we have two raging twins xD one's bad enough, don't you think?
GAH it's been almost exactly 3 months! if i'd published tomorrow it would be 3 months D: I'm really sorry everyone :( but school is starting soon, and I promised myself I'd have Chapter 11 up before term started, but it seems my brain is loving chemistry and biology right now and hating on English. We've been doing Modernism, and to anyone who noticed a bit of objective correlative in this chapter...bravo. I'm serious. This chapter was a mash-up of two drafts (out of five) so it might have been a bit choppy...
I can't guarantee I will be able to publish again any time soon. I know how I want this story to end, but I'm not quite sure how to get there yet.
But I hope you enjoyed this one! :) Please review and lend me your ideas, or your comments, or your critique, or anything really, even a bit of flame. My beta's got an idea up her sleeve that is turning out to be impossible to write... thanks Vaneffle... also thanks to xxxMaliceandMiseryxxx even though this chapter is so late in coming you should kill me too D:
Oh yes. Disclaimer: Bisco Hatori owns Ouran and everything within that dome of awesome.
Has everyone seen The Hunger Games? I haven't. Bit miserable over that.