potionwine: (Thoughtful Kaoru)
― PHOENIX CYCLE ―
ALTERNATE UNIVERSES ARC/THE CAREER SERIES

To Dwell in Dreams miniseries, Chapter 1

Title: To Dwell in Dreams
Pairing(s): Kyouya/Kaoru, Tamaki/Hikaru, Mori/Haruhi
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Ouran High School Host Club belongs to Hatori Bisco and related companies.
Word Count:

Complete summary:



TO DWELL IN DREAMS


At the beginning of the new term in a new year, the twins move back into the university residence hall. There are three rooms in their apartment-style dormitory located on the fourth floor of the Ouran Hall of Residence, and given that Hikaru and Tamaki have finally – after an inordinate amount of adolescent blushing and tiptoeing around each other (admittedly top-rate entertainment for Kaoru) – gotten together over the past year, those two have decided to move into the same room, the largest one.

Thankfully, Kaoru’s usual room, the ‘A’ room, is opposite rather than beside Tamaki-and-Hikaru’s ‘C’ room, so with any luck he won’t be hearing anything. Currently, he is dusting and cleaning before he is willing to unpack anything, especially his precious clothing.

A blond third-year music student appears in his doorway.

“Kaoru!” Tamaki singsongs with his customary exuberance, “I’ve prepared some food, come have a break!”

Out in the common living area, Le Nozze di Figaro is blasting from the speakers of their stereo system – their apartment is famed in the halls for the never-ending music whether recorded or played live, courtesy of their inhouse musician. Tamaki pushes Kaoru into a chair around the dining table and presents the food with a flourish before using the remote control to decrease the volume of the music to allow for them to chat comfortably. Hikaru wanders out of the ‘C’ room and grumbles about inconsiderate boyfriends who cater to other people’s needs before his, and Tamaki expresses his apology in a manner that Kaoru has to avert his eyes from.

“Sheesh.” Kaoru heads over to the sofa, propping his legs up on the coffee table and balancing the plate on his knees before using his fork to poke at a slice of French toast.

Hikaru and Tamaki emit some apologetic noises ex post facto, clearly regretting nothing. With a bright laugh, Tamaki lures Kaoru back with a bottle of maple syrup.

“More, Tono,” Kaoru whines at the pathetic amount of syrup that Tamaki squeezes onto his French toast. Tamaki stares at him with an incredulity undimmed since the first time they had a meal together.

“No,” he says imperiously, standing up to stash the bottle into the kitchen cabinet.

The glint in Hikaru’s eyes foretells all sorts of indecent things. He grabs Tamaki’s hand and, uh, disarms him.

Kaoru takes the bottle that his brother brandishes at him without removing his tongue from Tamaki’s mouth.

Dryly, Kaoru deadpans, “Your room is right there.”

They ignore him. How dare they!

Annoyed, he sidles up to his brother and plasters himself against his back, faux-flirtatiously running his hands up and down Hikaru’s arms, nuzzling his nose at that identical jawline scandalously. Hikaru gasps a little and laughs breathlessly, his amusement passing into Tamaki’s body from sheer closeness.

This is the scene that greets their new roommate.

… Right. Someone is moving into Hikaru’s old room.

A black-haired boy with spectacles stands by the front door, blank expression on his face and luggage at his feet.

With mingled horror and embarrassment, the three of them split apart. Being more shameless about these things, the twins recover faster than Tamaki – Kaoru goes back to his seat and the twins tuck in again. They still aren’t the friendliest of creatures, and Tamaki is the loveable poster boy who represents them in social situations.

Predictably, Tamaki springs up and says excitedly, “Hello! Come in, come in!”

The boy’s intelligent features curve up in a genial smile that looks obviously insincere to Kaoru. Psssh, does he think that it fools anyone? Certainly no one in this apartment is thick enough to believe it.

Helpfully, Tamaki shows him around before directing him to the ‘B’ room. Bounding back enthusiastically with the newcomer in tow, he takes it on himself to get everyone to be friends.

“This is Ootori Kyouya-san,” Tamaki grins widely. “Ootori-san is also a third-year and he’s never stayed in dorms before! How exciting!

A flash of that closed-eyed smile before Ootori-san bows slightly. “Nice to meet you. I hope we get along well.”

God, the guy is proper and nerdy.

That is okay in Kaoru’s book, except that this Ootori-san hasn’t meant anything he’s said so far and there is something unapproachable about him. Hypocritical of Kaoru to say it, maybe, but nonetheless true.

Mechanically, the twins echo Ootori-san’s sentiments. No point in disturbing the harmony of the place.

Tamaki generously offers a plate to Ootori-san, who accepts equally graciously. Ootori-san’s movements are fluid and enviably smooth when he sits and crosses his legs, reinforcing Kaoru’s half-formed perception that he must be one of those perfect-in-every-way, can-do-no-wrong, high-achieving star students.

“What are you studying, Suou-san?” Ootori-san asks politely.

“Music!” Tamaki chirps ecstatically. For a brief second, Ootori-san looks askance at his ridiculous, unexplained energy. “What about you!”

Ootori-san’s table etiquette is impeccable; he swallows before answering. “Medicine.”

Tamaki gushes over it, always one to be interested in other people’s lives. Ootori-san is waiting for Hikaru and Kaoru to volunteer their faculties, which they don’t, so Tamaki has to do it for them. “Hikaru is doing Architecture and Kaoru is doing Art!”

Kaoru sees the faintest shade of something cold… snobbery, in Ootori-san’s silver-black eyes.

Oh.

He’s that sort.

It isn’t the first time people have been disdainful of Kaoru’s choice because it is an industry in which success is rare and stability is non-existent, where talent is a dime a dozen and people think that it should be a hobby and not a career. Japanese society being what it is, Tamaki typically gets this too; curiously enough, he is spared by the very respectable Ootori-san when Kaoru is not.

Respectability, ha.

So what if he’s the latest attractive boy to join Ouran’s peculiarly stunning collection of people? They’re all hot, and Tamaki is living proof that people can be beautiful inside and out. Kaoru doesn’t like Ootori-san already, and he suspects the feeling is mutual.

Limiting his input to the conversation, Kaoru finishes up and excuses himself.

There is an unfamiliar prickling at the back of his neck until he enters his room and closes the door quietly behind him.
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