Smoking Is For Poor People

- mirage -

"Hikaru, you are in so much trouble," Kaoru said, stopping at his brother's feet with his hands on his hips. Behind the south side wall of their estate, Hikaru startled when Kaoru's shadow slid over his seated form. From below wide startled eyes, his mouth released a puff of smoke, and he tried to hide the cigarette in his hand. With exhaustion, Kaoru asked, "Where did you even get that?"

Hikaru waved at the cloud in front of his face. His right hand, not yet comfortable with the cigarette, struggled to keep it poised correctly. "From Nekozawa-sempai," Hikaru said.

Kaoru narrowed his gaze at the sight of Hikaru smoking where he sat in the landscaping below their bedroom window. "You might push mom and dad to corporal punishment if they saw this," Kaoru teased, extending a hand with a sigh. "Give me it."

Hikaru was in the middle of his next drag, and stopped abruptly with these words. "But..." Hikaru croaked, pulling off the white stick and exhaling quickly. "...yeah but Kaoru..." Hikaru fished into his pocket and held up a second unused cigarette.

Kaoru dropped his hand with exasperation. "Ugh, well if you got me one, why are you out here smoking yours alone?" Hikaru was fishing out a lighter now. "Why would you smoke yours without me?" Kaoru asked, allowing his voice to portray his betrayal.

Hikaru rose to his feet, brushing wood chips from the seat of his pants. He slid the cigarette into Kaoru's mouth and snapped the lighter a few times. "Actually I got six," Hikaru said. Kaoru glared at the small flame that popped free and hovered about the end of his cigarette. "And three are for you I just...but I didn't want to look all...you know and be hacking and stuff when I started in front of you," Hikaru said, offering a coy grin.

Kaoru felt his betrayal deepen. "Well what do you think I am going to do!" Kaoru cried, muffling his words about the cigarette Hikaru lit. "You're such a jerk." Hikaru gave a few encouraging nods to begin and Kaoru inhaled obediently. Immediately he broke into heavy coughs.

"Yup," Hikaru said, smacking a hand onto Kaoru's back. Kaoru pulled the cigarette from his mouth and bent over coughing toward the pebbles outlining their ferns.

"Oh, Hikaru this is nasty," Kaoru said, between hacked breaths.

"I know little brother," Hikaru said, sounding humored. Hikaru guided Kaoru's cigarette back to Kaoru's mouth as soon as Kaoru's coughs were under control and watched him start all over again. "It takes longer then you'd think it should."

Kaoru did not think it took longer than it should considering his lungs were just thrust into a burning building. After five minutes, he had his coughs under control and stood in the mulch between finely trimmed bushes with his eyes watering, and his mouth tasting thick and filthy. "I don't know...how anyone...can smoke cigars," Kaoru said, croaking out each word.

Hikaru stood at Kaoru's side, staring down at their identical shadows smoking casually. "You don't inhale."

"What?" Kaoru asked. He reached up and tugged at his shirt collar.

"You don't inhale with a cigar," Hikaru said, looking up. Kaoru loosened his Ouran tie. "See how we're inhaling with the cigarettes. You don't do that with a cigar."

Kaoru was silent and found it puzzling Hikaru knew this. "That doesn't make sense," Kaoru said bitterly. Hikaru smiled and lifted the cigarette back to his mouth before chuckling. Kaoru considered this. Standing in his Ouran uniform Kaoru felt Hikaru looked very different from him smoking. Hikaru's tall and slender frame was suddenly cast in a very rebellious light. Instead of standing in the early morning sunlight, stowed away in the landscaping to sneak a cigarette, Hikaru could be that delinquent student behind the sports field smoking when he should be in class. It was amazing how quickly Hikaru adapted to fit the part, with his shirt untucked and a single hand in his pocket. His eyes were cast down or off to the sky as he smoked, as though longing for the inhalation to repress the pressures of the world. Kaoru also found it amazing, how much he felt like the nerdy student peer pressured into skipping class and joining. "How come we look different smoking?" Kaoru asked, whining as much as he was voicing his irritation.

Hikaru chuckled with this as well. He pulled the cigarette from his lips and turned to Kaoru squinting in the sun. "This is my third." Hikaru blew his smoke forward into Kaoru's face.

Kaoru bat the cloud away. "You're third!" Kaoru asked with disbelief. When did Hikaru manage the other two! Hikaru nodded. "When did you—why did you..." Kaoru faltered with his words and took a drag to help mask his brain's inability to prioritize and formulate his concerns.

"I told you why I smoked them without you," Hikaru said quickly, sounding annoyed he was being scolded for something already explained. "I had one last night when you were in the shower, and the other one yesterday while you were on the phone."

Kaoru thought back to these moments quickly. When he had stepped from the shower Hikaru was still in the bathroom, and brushing the hell out of his teeth. So it became clear how, during that brief time he was washing his hair and singing Journey at the top of his lungs, Hikaru could have slipped out without him noticing. Yesterday he had also been roped into discussing costumes with the boss, logging onto said website, and adamantly arguing on their behalf how absolutely humiliating it would be for them to dress up as adorable pandas for a Zoo theme.

Kaoru narrowed his gaze when these events fell into place with Hikaru's treachery. He took a quick drag before stepping forward and kicking Hikaru in the shin.

Hikaru startled, and grabbed at his shin breaking into an awkward hop. "Ow! Dammit Kaoru!" Hikaru cried, flicking his cigarette butt into the mulch.

"No!" Kaoru pointed at the discarded cigarette firmly. "No. No." Hikaru hopped to it, and picked it up rubbing his shin fiercely. "Yes, that's what you get," Kaoru said angrily.

"Don't kick me!" Hikaru whined over Kaoru's talking.

"Have you stopped to consider, not only that these little smoking adventures of yours are lies to your twin, but also, how very stupid they are considering we're in the middle of negotiating our trip to Bali with our on-good-terms parents?" Kaoru asked, hiking his eyebrows and holding the cigarette a few inches from his face as he spoke. Hikaru was rubbing his leg sourly before trying to hide a grin that came and went quickly. "Hikaru, don't laugh." Kaoru scolded, taking a drag. "This," Kaoru exhaled a puff of smoke, "is serious."

Hikaru lowered his leg, and stood up to resume his delinquent-student stance. "I know Kaoru." Hikaru pulled the lighter back out and slipped a new cigarette into his mouth. Kaoru sent a wild exasperated gesture toward this. "I am smoking your second," Hikaru said simply. Hikaru flicked his thumb across the lighter twice, before Kaoru yanked the cigarette from Hikaru's mouth.

"No! That would be chain smoking. What are you, a chain smoker now?" Kaoru asked, pushing the cigarette into his own pocket. "We've got to go." Kaoru was smoking much faster to finish his cigarette. He checked his watch. It had been ten minutes since he'd left the breakfast table to find Hikaru for school. "Go get me a Danish so I can eat in the car." Hikaru was grinning like a madman. "Apple, an apple one."

"You know," Hikaru said, adapting a giddy tone. "Smoking out here like this. We-"

Hikaru was interrupted when the piano room windows opened, missing his head by a hair. The brilliant cast iron shutter flew outward, and the sheer curtains were pushed aside, before Yazuha Hitachiin leaned beyond the sill with her hair already perfectly curled, and her nails perfectly manicured. "Boys!" Yazuha called. "Your car is waiting to take..." she silenced on sight of them so close.

Kaoru whirled from the window and threw the cigarette into the landscaping waving frantically at the smoke he exhaled. Both of them already knew they were caught. They smelled like nothing but cigarette smoke and looked guiltier than sin. Yazuha's eyes had widened with surprise they were directly below the window, before pinching up into dangerously thin slits. There mother was no idiot. Hikaru was staring like a deer in headlights when Kaoru looked back to his mother to survey the damage. "Get..." Yazuha said, softly and with fierce annunciation. Her hand snapped out pointing to the closed piano room door. "...inside this house at once," she ordered.

Hikaru and Kaoru exchanged glances quickly and didn't dawdle. They hurried down the wood chips to the slabs of marble outlining the glass piano room doors. Before they could even reach them, Yazuha had them opened, and she yanked them in by their arms. "We're going to be late for school!" Hikaru sung, campaigning to the concern he knew their mother had before new events were brought to her attention.

"What were you two doing?" Yazuha demanded, pulling them in roughly. "Were you smoking?" she asked, lowering her voice as if this indictment was so terrible it needed to be kept private.

Kaoru backed up against the piano with his guilt, but Hikaru released a quick breath of frustration and gestured to the door. "Okay, the gardener was smoking." Hikaru lied quickly. "The gardener mom."

"Were you smoking?" Yazuha asked again, squinting skeptically. "You were. You were both smoking. I can't believe it." As she spoke Kaoru swallowed slowly, but Hikaru was shaking his head. "Open your mouth," Yazuha said firmly.

"What?" Hikaru snapped, scrunching his features up with distaste.

"I mean it Hikaru. Let me smell your breathe," Yazuha said, glancing to Kaoru who was being caught-red-handed quiet. "Empty your pockets."

"Aw mom." Hikaru let his shoulders sag with a heavy whine. Reluctantly he stuffed his hands into his pockets and opened his palms. Yazuha choked a breath of anger with the lighter and single cigarette. Yazuha turned angry eyes to Kaoru and he did the same, offering his gum and single cigarette.

"Boys I am so disappointed," Yazuha whispered, closing her eyes. "Whatever would make you pick up such a..." Yazuha plucked the cigarette from Hikaru's palm and looked at it with disgust. "Such a commoner version of..." Yazuha dropped the unused cigarette into the ash tray on the piano like it were a worm. Kaoru and Hikaru exchanged a fast glance. Kaoru didn't know what happened from here on out. He imagined it might be like that time their mother discovered them sneaking chocolates from their housekeeper's bedroom, and send them to their room. Or maybe the time she caught them doing each others homework subjects to balance out their strengths and weaknesses, and sat them in the corner. It might be like all the times they had been grounded, and their trip to Bali, where they hoped to sun and stare at half dressed girls, would be replaced with no-phone, no-video game weekends. Or, even worse, Kaoru's mind moved to a blank space, and wondered if smoking constituted breaching a hierarchy of punishment they'd never reached. He watched his mother drop Hikaru's cigarette into their father's ash tray with a look of grotesque she even had to touch it.

"Mom, we're sorry," Kaoru said quickly. "We..." Kaoru silenced when Hikaru elbowed him. Hard. Discretely Kaoru touched the place on his chest where Hikaru had just rammed him, and looked curiously at his twin.

"Okay fine," Hikaru said, sounding annoyed. "We won't do it again." Kaoru was worried this angry apology was going to light a fire under their mother, and stiffened. "But..." Hikaru trailed off and Kaoru realized inside Hikaru's voice he heard a very deliberate tone. Hikaru had a plan! "We just got bored."

Hikaru gave Kaoru another elbow and Kaoru startled into speech. "We just wanted to see what it was like."

"We were curious."

"Lots of people smoke."

"Dad smokes," Hikaru campaigned to logic again.

Yazuha was squinting at them with irritation. "Cigars," Yazuha said firmly. "Your father smokes very expensive, very rare cigars." Hikaru gave Kaoru a quick smile. "Smoking dirt cheap, no lable cigarettes, is for poor commoners boys," Yazuha said quickly, giving a shiver as she mentioned the vile cigarette again. "You must never put something of such poor quality near the refined area of your mouth. Remember, the sense of taste should not be spoiled." Yazuha held up a finger and exited the piano room through the archway on the right with fast purpose driven steps. Together Hikaru and Kaoru watched her grab a small stack of papers from their father's mahogany desk. "Now," Yazuha said, returning and handing travel papers to Kaoru. "That trip to Bali you wanted, fine. If you're so bored, spend your time packing. There is a cigar shop we purchase from on site, and if you want to smoke something you can each by one thin Cuban cigar," Yazuha said sternly. Hikaru broke an ear to ear grin at once. "On the condition you see the dentist when you return."

"Fine, we agree," Hikaru said quickly, grabbing Kaoru and shoving him to the door. "We'll pack as soon as we get home! Don't want to be late for school, so gotta run!"

They were making their escape when Yazuha reached out and stopped them. With a hand on the back of Hikaru's jacket, they stopped dead in their tracks. "Boys," she said softly. Her voice dropped to a low kind octave. To the melody they remembered her tucking them into bed with. It was now the tone she used to lull them into false security like a snake trying to dance a mouse into its mouth. "Take me seriously," Yazuha said, stepping back in front of them. She laid a hand on either of their shoulders and squeezed. "This is very important for you to remember: Smoking, is for poor people. Travel, is for rich people."

"Yes." Hikaru gave a thumbs up.

Kaoru handed Yazuha his cigarette and mimicked Hikaru's thumbs up. "We choose travel."

Yazuha looked disgusted with the cigarette in her hand, but forced a smile. "I am...so glad."

"Okay! Good talk! Gotta go!" Hikaru said, grabbing Kaoru's hand and practically running from the piano room.

As soon as they cleared the foyer Kaoru began whispering. "Holy crap, how did you know that was going to work?" They grabbed their school bags and left for the door.

"Come on Kaoru," Hikaru scolded, as if it were all so obvious. Hikaru began frantically tucking in his shirt.

"Come on nothing!" Kaoru hurried down the walk towards the waiting car with Hikaru. "We could have had our asses handed to us! You did not know that was going to work!"

Hikaru shrugged and stepped into the car moments after the driver opened the door for them. Kaoru took this pause to correct his tie quickly. "Well mom's parenting advice isn't always that sound." This was true. Kaoru slid in along side Hikaru and didn't argue. "And," Hikaru was grinning like a mad man, "Nekozawa-sempai really did give me the cigarettes. So, it's obvious we had to try them.."


Thank you for reading! Please leave a review!

I focus more on FMA fics (please come read!), but I have several OHSHC stories to post and have been dragging my feet because I am not sure if you guys are really liking them. I love the twins and have a blast writing them, so most of my OHSHC fics are twincentered. Anyone interested?