AN: Hey guys! Thanks for the continued support. Huggles to you all :-) I was in a major Kaoru x Honey mood when I wrote this, haha. Just read the manga and you'll see what I mean.
Can't really think of anything else to say...my heart goes out to all those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings, this is dedicated to you! Enjoy. Satoshi's in this, bitches. ~Aly
"Neh, sempai!" I wailed, crushing him in a hug.
He squirmed in my arms, squeaking to let him go. I did, letting him fall to the ground as I wiped a stray tear from my eye. I had just arrived at the Haninozuka manor, and I had tackled Honey immediately after stepping foot inside his plush room. Used to this kind of behavior from me, he shut the door and asked in a concerned tone, "What's wrong, Kao-chan? You haven't been this sad since you and Hika-chan had that big fight!"
I sat cross-legged on his fluffy carpet, scrubbing away the tears that had escaped my eyes. He sat opposite of me, looking troubled. Hugging my knees I sniffled, "I can't tell you, sempai."
He looked at me with tears glistening in his big brown eyes. "Don't cry!" He chirped, and began racing around the room. He dug through his toy chest and started flinging stuffed animals at me. "Here, take Buta-chan!" He exclaimed, throwing a stuffed pig at me. "And Zou-chan! And here's Usa-chan too!"
I hugged the toys close to my chest, burying my face in the soft fabric. I sighed. Honey could always help me. He was my personal therapist whenever things got bad. And this was fucking bad. "Can you tell me anything about what's wrong?" He pressed, eyes wide. "Is it Hika-chan again?"
I hesitated, biting my lip. "It's just everything, sempai." I tried to be as vague as possible. The last thing I wanted was to drag him or Mori into this. "Life, I guess. I think I'm just making a lot of wrong choices."
He tapped his chin, racking his head for advice. "Well, I think the only thing you can do is just make right choices from now on. What makes you think you're making wrong decisions?"
I scrunched my face up, frowning at him. "I already told you, sempai, it's a secret."
He studied me for a moment, then bounced up and trotted over to the walk-in refrigerator that was in his room. He emerged with a spring in his step and two large cakes. He knew what I liked - the one he tossed me was some sort of pumpkin spice, while he had some kind of chocolate and strawberry montage.
We dug in while he let me ramble on and on about my problems, while I tried to hide the actual specifics. Each time I'd get teary - something that almost always seemed to happen around Honey - he would frantically throw me another stuffed animal or blanket or cake. After a few minutes of my mostly incoherent babbling he said in a perplexed tone, "So you did something that could hurt a whole bunch of our friends?"
"No," I moaned miserably around a forkful of cake, entwining my fingers in the fibers of the rug, "It just seems like I did. But I didn't. And everyone will think I did if something happens with this person, which really sucks, and I really didn't even do anything in the first place, but this person is going to make it seem like that for whatever reason, I don't know why, and that person doesn't even know about these other people which I know about, so if my thing gets out he won't know if it hurt them in that way or not, which I did not do but they wont know that if he finds out, or maybe he does know, but either way this sucks and I can't take it anymore sempai!" I finished with a shriek, pulling him into my arms again. He flailed there for a moment before I released him and replaced his small frame with various stuffed animals.
Dusting himself off he peeped, "Kao-chan, you're not really making sense."
"I know," I groaned, falling back onto his plush carpet. He laid down adjacent to me, cuddling with Usa-chan. "Well..." He started, nuzzling into the bunny, "I think you should relax a little bit, Kao-chan. I think maybe you're making the situation bigger than it needs to be. Maybe it's really not that important, and you're working yourself up for nothing."
"But it is," I complained. "You know I'm not like Milord." I hoped he didn't notice my cringe when I said his name. "I don't make things bigger than they need to be. But this one's big."
He sighed, looking down. I closed my eyes, cradling the stuffed animals like they were my lifelines. I felt like I hadn't felt this warm in weeks. It felt good to let out all this steam.
"Life sucks, huh, sempai?" I asked offhandedly.
"Sometimes..." He allowed, looking distracted.
He suddenly met my eyes, his chestnut irises wide. "Kao-chan, did you know I used to have a crush on you in high school?"
A course of surprise shot through me. "N-no," I stammered, completely taken aback. I really liked Honey, and we were extremely close in high school, but I would've never guessed he liked me. I didn't have a problem with him having a crush on me; in fact, I was flattered, in a weird way. But why? It was so random. "Really?" I wondered, too dumbfounded to say anything else.
"Yup!" He smiled brightly. "It was just a small crush. I thought it was really cute how you were learning to break away from Hika-chan and live by yourself. And you also liked cute things too, which was great!"
I blushed a little bit, and with a grin I asked, "Why didn't you tell me, sempai?"
He shrugged playfully, rolling over to stare at the ceiling. With a strong smile he answered, "There was a lot of drama back then, too, between you and Hika-chan and Haru-chan. I didn't want to make it worse, so I kept my feelings to myself. And I told myself that if you were happy, I was happy; and things worked out, so I must've done the right thing!"
I bit the inside of my cheek, tracing the stitches in a stuffed elephant's face. "You should've just told me. It's not good to hold in your feelings."
"But don't you see?" He squeaked, snuggling into the carpet, "I didn't hold in my feelings, I held them back. I just told you my feelings now, didn't I? Back in high school was a bad time for me to tell you, because it only would've made things more confusing for all of us."
"But it's too late now," I argued.
"Too late for what?" He giggled, scooting closer to me. "I don't think we would've dated or anything. It was just a tiny crush; and besides, we don't suit each other very well."
I flushed a deep scarlet as he leaned in and pressed a quick kiss to my cheek. I brushed the spot self-consciously as he continued with a grin, "I love you Kao-chan, but it wasn't meant to be. We're supposed to love each other in a super best buddies way, you know?"
I laughed in spite of myself. "Super best buddies for life, okay?" I agreed, and he squealed and hugged me tightly around my waist.
Sitting up, I tried to smooth down my hair. In a more serious tone I whispered, "But what are you really trying to say, sempai?"
He considered it for a moment, and then said slowly, "I think you should do all you can to make the situation better, regardless of your true feelings. Then when all of this is over with, you can tell everyone how you really feel. Just play along for now, and everything will be alright soon enough."
I nodded, standing up and stretching. With a sigh I helped him up and smiled, "Thanks. You always help me feel better, Honey- sempai. I'll do my best."
"No problem, Kao-chan!" He beamed. "You know you're always welcome here!"
I started towards the door, feeling energized and more confident. "I'll see you next time, okay?" I offered, and he nodded happily. I shook my head in teasing exasperation as he ran headfirst into the walk-in fridge, no doubt searching for more cake. I walked casually out of the room, taking a deep breath.
As soon as I shut the door behind me, I bumped into and knocked over something that was very much human.
We both tumbled to the ground - I happened to land in an awkward sprawl over its body. After a second of deep silence I scrambled off, meeting its eyes for the first time.
"Satoshi!" I exclaimed in genuine surprise. He looked mystified as well. "Long time no see!" I said happily, offering a hand to help him up. "Sorry about that," I added sheepishly.
Baffled, he stuttered brightly, "S-sempai! I haven't seen you in forever! How've you been?"
I shrugged, sticking my hands in my jean pockets. "I've been better. You?"
"Same," he grimaced knowingly.
We sort of just stood there awkwardly for a moment. I didn't know Satoshi that well, especially after graduation - I'd probably seen him twice since entering college. In my mind he was still just Mori's little brother; but he'd proven to be a good friend in tough times. After a bit of apprehension he offered tentatively and out of the blue, "Listen, do you want to get out of here? Yasuchika and I were going to go to that new coffee shop downtown, but he just canceled, so..." He smiled, looking a little nervous.
I returned the smile, trying not to seem intimidating. I didn't feel like I had the right to be intimidating, since I was only a year younger than him, but I knew what it was like to be a naive underclassman. "I'd love to," I replied on a whim. Why not? I could use a little getaway. And I wasn't feeling so depressed anymore.
He drove, winding through the busy city streets expertly. To break the tension I tried, "So how's Ouran? Is senior year going well?"
"Yeah," he said quietly, drumming his fingers against the steering wheel. "It's kind of hectic, what with choosing a college and all...how about you? You're studying at Ouran University, right?"
"Yeah," I echoed, "It's hectic on my end too."
He flashed me a smirk. "My hectic is worse than your hectic."
"You wanna bet?" I laughed, somewhat bitterly. "I'll prove you wrong."
He shrugged, accepting my challenge. We rolled up to a red light slowly. He turned to face me, his hair ruffled and windswept childishly. "Fine, then. Shoot."
I opened my mouth with a cocky smile, then immediately closed it after coming to my senses. I realized it was in both his and my best interest to keep my mouth shut about my current situation. It was the only safe way - Satoshi reminded me of a mix between Hikaru and Milord. He was lovable and carefree, but also had a devilish side to him. And since I didn't know him that well, I wasn't completely sure I could trust him or not. I decided to give him the same answer I gave Honey. "It's a secret," I answered lamely, my ego slipping a few notches. Before he could protest, I continued, "What about you?"
He scowled at me. With a twist in his tone he echoed, "It's a secret." Then he instantly brightened with a triumphant, coy grin. He started rolling up one of his thin sweater sleeves with an arrogant air of confidence. With a chuckle he announced, "This is all I can give away," displaying his bare arm mockingly.
I gasped lowly, subconsciously lending my hands to gingerly cradle his arm. His skin was littered with traces of black and blue bruises. Rough patches of deep violet covered each inch of his pale skin; it looked like he was the lone lucky survivor of an awful car accident. "What happened to you?" I demanded in awe, feeling a strange sense of paternity wash over me - he was the little brother of one of my best friends, and I had to look out for him. I had a feeling the bruises were no accident.
I felt him shiver slightly under my touch. "It's not a big deal," he dismissed quickly, his cockiness evaporating. There was a dim pink tinge to his cheeks, and his eyes darted all around the windshield to avert my gaze.
I was about to reprimand him and argue that yes, this was a big deal, when he coaxed his arm out of my grasp with sly urgency. He rolled his sleeve down almost self-consciously. I sat stunned for a few seconds. Deciding to just not comment, I mumbled, "I think you won. Given the current evidence."
"Yeah, thought so," he sighed shakily, trying to play it off with a nervous chuckle, "It's not easy being me."
With hesitance I started, "Satoshi, you can tell me-"
"Never mind," he interrupted, his face blank, or at least disguising any emotion. If he was trying to impress me or something, it wasn't working. I couldn't give a damn about his masculine pride.
I decided to hold my tongue. I figured it wasn't polite to pry, and he obviously didn't want to call attention to it - now, anyway. A deafening silence resumed in the car. I deliberated how to break the tension, but suddenly couldn't think of anything to say. Awkwardness was a strange sensation for me - as of recently Hikaru and I were fairly social people. If anybody could break the ice, we could. For the first time in my life, I truly felt flustered.
We arrived at the coffee shop, the heaviness still present in the air. We simultaneously got out of the car and headed for the cafe. It was a quaint, pleasant little pub. Extremely tiny, but it met my ridiculously high standard tastes. We ordered quietly, then secluded ourselves to an isolated table in the corner.
Things continued to be awkward for a while, but we managed to work past that, and soon I was laughing the hardest I ever had in weeks. I found the majority of my inhibitions slipping away; he reminded me of the good old days when it was just Hikaru, me, and absolutely no bullshit. It felt amazing to actually laugh with genuine amusement. He had a very charming, natural charisma about him - I made a mental note to spend more time with him. His antics almost took my mind off of the recent drama. He made me feel better for a little while. I almost had fun. Almost.
A sudden loud crash made me jump a foot in the air. I looked over at Satoshi, who was dripping wet in a mess of coffee and broken glass shards. He looked mildly shocked but ended up chuckling airily. "Damn. This is some fragile china," he remarked with a grin, casually peering up to face his assailant - or the guy that had dropped his steaming hot coffee mug on him - for the first time.
My pulse plummeted. This can't be happening to me.
"My sincerest apologies," Kyouya purred, glaring at him with the devil's eyes, though apparently pretending to be taken aback. I groaned quietly, begrudgingly biting my tongue against the profanities. Kyouya eyed me carefully, as if to dare me to say something.
"It's no problem - Kyouya-sempai?" He gasped happily as he recognized him, his eyes widening in surprise. "Holy shit, I'm running into everyone today, huh? Literally. How've you been, sempai?"
"Please," Kyouya shrugged with a delicate smirk. "That's a thing of the past. Do call me Ohtori-san."
"Don't be a dick," I blurted with a growl, unable to help myself. "If you still let me call you sempai, he can too."
He looked like he was going to smack me for a moment. "Kaoru, I didn't even notice you there," he lied smoothly. I muttered 'Bullshit' under my breath, hoping he'd hear me. Satoshi's onyx eyes darted between the two of us, one eyebrow raised questioningly.
"Oh, I just remembered," the demon proclaimed pleasantly. "We have a business meeting to discuss the financials for the next Ohtori-Hitachiin joint expose in London. Why don't I just give you a ride?"
Lies. All lies. I wanted to tie him down and castrate him. And I probably could've, if only I hadn't let him get a hold of that stupid audio footage. Then I would've had the liberty to do whatever the hell I wanted to the God forsaken vessel his demonic soul calls a body.
"I'd love to stay and help clean up, but we really must be leaving," he directed his attention to Satoshi, pretending to check his watch. "I'll send a check for your dry cleaning along with a bonus due to pain and suffering to the Morinozuka dojo as soon as possible."
Satoshi looked a little stunned, turning a dazed eye to me. "Alright, then," he said brightly, confusion evident on his face. It must've been the dirty looks I was sending Kyouya.
"I'll see you later, okay?" I breathed, flashing him a meaningful look.
"Sure," he replied wistfully as we started to walk away. He looked as if he was reluctant to let me go.
Kyouya gently tapped my elbow as if to urge me forward quicker, since I was currently crawling at a snail's pace. "Don't touch me, prick," I hissed, maintaining my speed dutifully. He just smiled in return. I knew he wouldn't try anything here - which only made me more terrified for what would come later.
"Is the Shadow King jealous?" I whispered in a teasing yet serious tone. I was elated when I saw his brow twitch in annoyance at my words. I mentally made a note to spend as much time as possible with Satoshi - anything that would get him angry was a win in my book.
As we finally entered his car - I, having considered half a dozen times to make a run for it, was none too thrilled - he revved the engine with a satisfied smirk. "Now to begin your punishment," he smiled.
AN: Ohoho. Naughty Kyouya. Might be what you guys think, maybe not...who knows? Teehee. Reviews mean faster chapters. Till next time! ~Aly