Makoto felt the embrace when his back was turned as he was cooking, surprised at the feeling. He craned his neck over to see Kaoru holding onto him like her life depended on it, him turning around to hug her back just as tightly. “What’s up? You’re normally never this physical with me—is something wrong?” He asked, concern clear in his voice and face. He put a hand on the back of her head to keep her close to him as he continued to hug her.
Makoto would never take advantage of anyone. It wouldn’t feel right . He was far too modest to even take praise when it was appropriate for him to do so. He didn’t know why it was like this, it was just how he lived his life and wouldn’t change it. Kaoru needed someone to take care of her, and it was an honor that she chose him out of anyone else that was in her life to support her through whatever tough times were plaguing her.
He tightened his arms around her, keeping her against him. It scared him some when she got like this. He wasn’t sure what went on during her therapy sessions, and only found out when she wanted to tell him. She was never so rattled unless something really got under her skin to freak her out this much.
"Kaoru, you can’t be too needy with me. I’ll be more overbearing with you than you with me. I’ll always be here if you need me, but you have to talk to me to have me help you, okay? I care about you."
Makoto was such a simple boy — all he wanted was to swim and to teach kids, and to have someone he loved by his side. A part of her felt guilty for having dragged him into all this, and she wondered if simply breaking it off might have been easier.
Come to think of it, she hadn’t even told him about Hikaru yet — Hikaru being her brother who had died, as well as her other personality. In Eastern terms, it might have been said that Hikaru’s soul possessed her body now and again, and whenever it did, she would be perfectly unaware of what had happened.
Hikaru had not shown up since she met Makoto, but it was only a matter of time. The psychotherapy was meant to integrate the two personalities, but it wasn’t working very well.
Kaoru sighed and hugged Makoto tighter. She wasn’t sure how to discuss all this; she didn’t have the words, but the whole thing hung like a stone upon her mind. She sank a bit more against Makoto’s chest and tried to smile as she sniffed the air.
"Hm, what are you cooking?" she ventured. "Can I help?"
Kaoru listened to Kyouya’s speech and found himself inwardly scoffing. It was not a word he would have used to describe him, but if Kyouya really believed those things, then he was either supremely naive or the Ootoris weren’t as dysfunctional as all that — for the fact of the matter was, Yuzuha was a deeply selfish woman who never saw anything beyond her own ends, his father had grown increasingly withdrawn and ineffectual over the years, and Kaoru and Ageha… well.
"Yeah. I guess." Hikaru gave a noncommittal shrug and readjusted his cufflinks. "Maybe you’re right. But it’s not that simple. You see, the real reason I’m doing this —"
"Good evening" — came a voice from above. "My name is Oliver, and I will be your server tonight. Have you gotten a chance to decide what you may want to have to start?"
Hikaru glanced up — his menu had been fallen uselessly from his hands, which was why the waiter had concluded that they were ready to order.
"I don’t know, Kyouya, what are we going to have?” Hikaru looked wistfully at his friend, then back at the closed menu. “I’m not really particular.”
He gave a smirk and slumped back in his chair — his posture one of easy nonchalance — but to astute observer, it spelled disaster. When Hikaru — the well-known foodie — refused to take an alimentary stance, it meant that the very fiber of his world was being ripped asunder.
Nothing in our world is ever simple. Kyoya thought to himself as he waited for Hikaru to explain further. Even so, Hikaru and Kaoru had been two of the most youthful members of the Host Club. They did what the wanted, causing trouble and wreaking havoc—not called the “little devil type” for nothing. Kyoya had, at times, envied their free-spirited nature, taking it as an example of the freedom in their lives. Still, it seemed to Kyoya that whatever simplicity Hikaru had had when they were members of a silly little Host Club was what had held him together, at least more together than he was now.
"Not really particular, I see." Kyoya repeated without his expression changing even though the wheels in his head had not stopped turning since he had sat down with the younger man. He had almost gotten a decent response out of Hikaru, but then the waiter—Oliver—had arrived. Despite the smile he turned up at the man, he was slightly irritated at the sudden interruption despite how irrational that feeling was, for Oliver was merely doing his job as Hikaru’s gesture had bid him do.
"If you still happen to enjoy trying new cuisine, I might suggest we order the chef’s tasting menu. Seven courses. New every week. If I am not feeling particular, it is a solid option,” He prompted, adjusting his glasses and nodding to the waiter as if to indicate that that would be what he would be having before turning his gaze back to Hikaru.
"I doubt you would be disappointed."
"Yes, sure." Hikaru gave the leather-bound menu a push, concealing the irritation in the gesture. The word ‘whatever’ had nearly reached his tongue, but he managed to swallow it. "Let’s both have the tasting menu, then."
"Two sets of tasting menu?" Oliver glanced at Kyouya, just to confirm. "Excellent choice, I assure you you won’t be disappointed."
The server’s way of speaking was somewhat stilted — almost Midatlantic to a fault, but with an unmistakeable cadence of fey that was so familiar to Hikaru. He picked up the twin’s menu and did the same with Kyouya’s, balancing them lightly over his arm as he refilled their water glasses.
When Oliver disappeared, Hikaru raised his gaze to Kyouya’s again. Despite the unhealthy circles under the eyes, the yellow light of the candelabras was doing him justice.
"I’m so sorry," he said. "This grouchiness… it should go away once I get some food in me." He shrugged, and patted his lower ribs with a forced laugh. "Don’t worry, I’m still very much invested in what I have on my plate — I’m not that far gone, and it’s always more fun when you have someone with you. Speaking of which, have you ever been here before?”