A couple of weeks later, Kaoru and I are at the Host Club, sitting on the couch together, talking quietly. About now is the time that the ladies start coming in.
Sure enough, the doors open and in come a gaggle of girls. Just as soon as their feet cross the threshold, a great rumbling shakes the room. The girls break out into excited chatter as Renge emerges on a platform out of the floor.
"Ladies, if I may have your attention," she speaks into the microphone, "today we have a very special treat for you! Ahem." She strikes a dramatic pose. "You all know them. You all love them. You all know that they love each other! I give you… the Hitachiin brothers!"
Reaching up, Renge pulls on something hanging from the ceiling that Kaoru and I had not even noticed. The banner unfurls, and what we see there leaves our jaws agape in shock.
There, blown up to massive proportions, and hanging from the ceiling, is a close-up photograph of the first kiss that Kaoru and I shared. In the picture our eyes are wide open and our cheeks are flaming red. A border of obnoxious hearts frames the picture.
Predictably, the ladies erupt in shrieks as they catch their first glimpse of the banner. The room is full of sudden noise and I can see the stars clouding their eyes.
Kaoru and I look at each other, gritting our teeth. Though Renge might have made the announcement, we know that there is only one person who could have orchestrated such an event.
"Kyoya!" we holler. As a unit, we leap off the couch and walk over to the chair in which the object of our rage is seated. Kyoya looks up from his little black book to see us above him, arms crossed unhappily.
"Why did you hang up a banner with such an embarrassing picture of us?" asks Kaoru.
"Where did you even get the picture?" I demand.
Kyoya shoots me a look.
"I took it myself of course. I always have a camera on hand."
"So why'd you put it up?" I ask again. Kyoya sighs, and pushes his glasses up his nose so we can better see into his eyes.
"I'm sorry, you two. It has nothing to do with you really. Yesterday Tamaki decided that it would be fun to rearrange all of my accounting books, and draw little pictures in them while he was at it."
Kyoya extends the black book out to us, and Kaoru and I see that it is open to a page filled with numerical values. All around the edges of the page are little drawn hearts, cats, rainbows, and other assorted things.
"I felt that this was the appropriate response."
"Humiliating us?!" we cry. Kyoya smirks.
"No… Diminishing Tamaki's popularity for a day. And on top of that, once Renge auctions that banner off-"
"Auctions it off?!"
"-for a high price, Tamaki will be thrown even further into despair. So you see? It was nothing personal. In fact, I've done you both a favor. I think you'll find yourselves the two most popular hosts for a time."
"So you did all this… just to get back at Tamaki?" I check.
"Well, yes… The profits will also be good for the club," Kyoya confirms. Peering at us through his glasses, Kyoya continues on to ask, "Does the picture actually embarrass you two so much?"
From the gleam in his eyes, I get the feeling that Kyoya knows more about the relationship between Kaoru and I than we've ever said aloud around the other hosts. I find myself not surprised, and not bothered at all. I turn and meet Kaoru's eyes. Suddenly, I decide to have a little fun with it.
Stepping forward, I take his chin in my fingers and lean in close to my brother.
"What do you think? Does it bother you, Kaoru?" I ask seductively. I am pleased to see a splash of pink in his cheeks. Even so, he holds it together.
"Oh Hikaru," he says, "You mustn't tease me so! I suppose it doesn't bother me…"
We are dangerously close to each other's faces. If I pressed forward just a few more inches, I could kiss him.
"Alright, you two. Save it for the customers," says an exasperated Kyoya.
Smirking with pleasure, Kaoru and I break out of our brotherly love trance and wink teasingly in Kyoya's direction before heading back to the couch. As we make our way there, we spot Tamaki curled up in a corner, the exact outcome that Kyoya wanted. We don't even try to hold back our amused smirks.
As soon as we get to our seats, we are pounced upon by a hoard of excited girls. Kaoru and I look at each other. Grinning brightly, we high-five, before getting serious and beginning to entertain our guests.
All throughout the afternoon, I sneak glances in Kaoru's direction. More often than not, he is looking right back, and when our eyes meet, his cheeks go pink and he smiles shyly. I cannot help a grin. My stomach flutters happily as I ponder everything that I plan to do with Kaoru tonight once we're home alone…
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