Back from New York and ready to write! YAY! So here we go:
"Kaoru," Hikaru addressed his brother, reaching for his shoulder, but Kaoru turned before he could touch him, slamming his locker shut.
"Yeah, Hikaru?" Kaoru asked, looking at him steadily.
Hikaru studied his brother. He didn't look any different from any other day; Kaoru's hair was parted as usual and he was wearing his usual styles… There was just something off in his eyes. "What's going on, Kaoru?"
Kaoru's eyebrows twitched in confusion. "What are you…?"
"You've been acting weird," Hikaru stated, watching for a reaction. However, Kaoru did something he did not expect.
He smiled. It was genuine and real. "Oh yeah, sorry. I've been feeling kind of sick today; not quite right. One of those days, you know?"
Hikaru didn't know what to believe. Kaoru's behavior very well might be from feeling sick, but then he also saw Tamaki's videos, which were terrifying on their own. But… then again, Tamaki's camera could just suck. "Yeah, okay," Hikaru said softly.
Kaoru slung his backpack over his shoulder and smiled again. "Well, let's go. I'm feeling a little better but that doesn't mean I couldn't use a nap," he chuckled.
"Oh crap," Hikaru said suddenly, realizing, "I forgot my backpack by Tamaki's locker."
"Well, you go get that and I'll meet you outside for the bus."
"Okay, see ya," Hikaru said and watched Kaoru stroll away. Before he could convince himself otherwise, Hikaru focused in on his brother, reaching for the other's soul. And we he did so, he saw Kaoru's soul resting there safely, just as always.
Wait… did his soul just flicker?
Yuzuha scraped the sponge across the crusty lining of the pan within the sudsy water, splashing her arm in the filth. She frowned as she scrubbed and her sleeves were rolled up tight and her hair was bunched into a tight bun. She listened to only the sound of her scrubbing as she worked and was accompanied by her inner voice, cursing at the seemingly unending pile of dishes.
Then she heard the sound of the door swinging open; she looked and smiled in anticipation. She'd gotten off of work early that day and she was ready to surprise her kids with maybe a trip to the movies or maybe they could just all hang out together tonight. It's been a while since they've done that.
"Hey boys!" she called into the hallway, drying her hands off in a dish towel.
"Hey mom!" came Hikaru's usual reply…. But there was nothing else. Instead, she just heard one set of feet pound upstairs and then just quiet. She frowned to herself. "Kaoru?" she started, turning around.
But she jumped. He was standing right behind her, staring with an apprehensive look in his eyes, but then it all cleared away in an instant. "Yeah, mom?" he asked slowly.
"Are you alright?" Yuzuha asked, instantly worried about her youngest child. He wasn't often this… off. She reached out and placed a cool hand on Kaoru's cool forehead.
He groaned and ducked away from her hand. "I'm fine," he whined in his usual tone. A rush of relief instantly filled her up as she watched her child trudge to the fridge.
"Did you have a long day at school or something?" she proceeded cautiously, taking the dish cloth to dry more dishes.
Kaoru shifted through the fridge and replied, "Just been kind of out of it." Yuzuha did not take any offense by the short reply. She was used to her children being short with her.
"And what about your classes?" she continued. "Are they…" She trailed off in horror when she turned to find her son holding a glass of orange juice. Quickly, she snatched it up from his hand. "Kaoru! You're allergic to oranges!" she cried hysterically. "How could you have forgotten?"
The poor boy looked utterly confused, staring at her in horror, and still holding his hand out where he had held the glass. "Maybe you should go lie down for a while, honey. You seem really tired."
Slowly, the neutral expression fell back over Kaoru's face and he nodded. "Yeah…" he said distantly and then he trailed away quietly.
After a moment, Yuzuha began to clean her dishes once again.
Kaoru felt heavy, drowning. It was like he was dying.
Slowly, he felt consciousness fizz back to himself as he fought to the surface, trying to stay awake. Finally his vision cleared and he was staring down at his hands as they weaved themselves together like a nervous tick. Kaoru tried to move his hands apart but he had no control.
"It's no use," a menacing voice floated across his mind.
"Who are you?" Kaoru answered back, still trying to gain control over his body.
"Well, not your father. I thought we already discussed this," the voice answered back with a laugh in its tone.
"Where is my father?"
"He's around… somewhere. He has been watching over you for quite a while, but then again so have I. And then he left you alone, the fool! Did he not know that most ghosts were just waiting for a taste of life again?"
Kaoru struggled inside his body but it was as if he was chained to the back, cursed to watch the rest of his life from the back seat. "Let me go," Kaoru demanded.
The voice laughed. "I've just claimed your body. Why would I so easily let it go?"
Kaoru fought for breath, or anything that would make him feel lighter in his body. It was cramped…
"You are dying, you know…" the voice interrupted Kaoru's futile struggles. "If you stay inside this body, your soul will most likely move on."
"To where?" Kaoru asked desperately, suddenly afraid.
"How the Hell would I know?" the beast laughed. "But it will happen. Your other option is to leave your body now and live out your days as a ghost. Of course, you will not be stuck as a ghost. You will always have the option of moving on…"
"Never," Kaoru forced. "I will claim my body back."
"You feel how weak your body is now?" Kaoru did. He felt himself floating more and more into a darker place each moment. How long has he been losing this battle inside his body? Days? Weeks? "One way or another, you will be gone from this body. Now why wait out any more torture?"
Through heavy mind, Kaoru fought one last time for the control of his body. He clawed and scratched at the wicked soul beside him. It was no use.
That's when Kaoru made the decision. He took his soul and began to pry himself from the ties to his body. He cried out in agony as each cord attached to his soul was snapped but he had to get out. He was not dying today. Ripping himself from the last confine, Kaoru fell onto the floor, panting and heaving. It felt like he was bleeding from all sides.
His body stood from his perch on the bed and smiled at him cruelly. "Good luck out there Kaoru," his own voice sneered at him. "Tell everyone that your body now belongs to Tatsuya. And if anyone tries to claim it as their own, I will throw them into the afterlife myself!"
Kaoru ignored him and began to move his shaky limbs to try to lift himself to his feet. "And don't bother trying to talk to Hikaru for a couple days," Tatsuya laughed. "Newly broken souls like your self aren't able to reveal to Life Reapers until they are at least a week old. And by that time, I will have fully taken your body as my own." He laughed, using Kaoru's voice, and strode from the room, leaving Kaoru invisible and in pain on his own floor.