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The Better Twin

Chapter Text

(Kaoru's POV)
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I guess Honey is more perceptive than I thought he was. He seemed distracted by my empty space at the lunch table whenever I'd ask him about what sort of cake he was eating, or how his practices were going. I certainly didn't think Honey-senpai would be the one to notice.
"Kao-chan?"
"I- sorry. Must have spaced out." I forced a laugh that came out dry and not genuine. "I guess I have been feeling a bit sick lately, it's a flu season after all. I haven't thought much of it, my appetite just hasn't been there lately." I added in a grin that was calculated to convey innocence- closed eyes and pink cheeks. It was a skill I'd long past perfected, hosts are always expected to put on a show. I've become quite an actor, whether it was pretending to be helpless and vulnerable for the ladies, or pretending that I'm happy and okay to my friends and brother.

"Oh, okay! That sounds right, I guess that is why the school schedules the physical exam close to this time of year, huh?" Honey thought out loud, which made me smile with relief. He was distracted. "Yeah, but I can't say I'm looking foward to it. They'll probably make me take some medications for the flu, a whole pain." I didn't want to mention the real reason I was dreading the upcoming day.

"Mm, yeah! I had to take medicine when I had a cavity, it wasn't very fun." He grinned. "But I've been saving a piece of cake especially for you, Kao-chan, will you still eat it with me?" A plate with a yellow slice was slid across the wooden table to my end, with a fork and knife already being on the side for me to use. The cake had a small blue heart candy in it, probably referencing when Hikaru and I had different hair colors. I opted for blue, which was definitely one of the more thrilling decisions I've made in my life; all the others were planned or mapped out for me. I frowned at the thought.

"You don't want it?" Honey-senpai clearly felt disheartened by Kaoru's negative reaction. A knee jerk reaction, Mori immediately sensed his displeasure and glared at the younger twin from his seat a couple meters away.

I felt chills run down my spine at Mori's cold expression. How was I supposed to deny Honey-senpai's request without getting hated by the club? My mouth felt dry, and I looked back at my small upperclassman.

"Th...thank you so much for the cake, senpai." I forced myself to say, picking up a fork and taking a bite. It was soft and delicious, and my stomach churned at the vibrant flavor. I wasn't as used to sweets anymore, after cutting it from my diet completely for weeks. But I had to admit that it was absolutely delicious, and my fork dug into more of the dessert. In only a couple minutes, my fork hit the empty plate and made a loud clanking sound. Oh god, did I really eat the entire cake that quickly? It was far from a small piece, and it couldn't have been more than three minutes. I set the fork down quietly and saw that Honey was only halfway through his. I felt disgusting, and a wave of nausea took over my sensations.

"It was great, senpai, thanks! I'm going to go use the restroom, but I'll help with the plates later." I offered up the excuse as I quickly stood up, knocking the expensive chair over in the process. Not having the time to care, I just ran out and into the music room's nearest restroom. They were always empty afterschool and I was grateful for that fact as I locked myself in the biggest stall, at the very end. My breathing was panicked as I calculated how many calories were in what I just ate. It was probably around 400, right? Which was basically 500. Yeah, I could round it to an easy-to-remember 500. It was a disgustingly high number, especially since that was usually how much calories I'd eat in a whole day.

"Think, think, think! You idiot!" I hissed quietly. I knew of a way to fix this- to make myself sick and throw it up. My body would still absorb some of the calories, but it was better than nothing. I shakily exhaled as I glanced over towards the pristine white toilet.
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(3rd person POV)
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Hikaru had watched his twin run out sloppily, with a hard look on his face. He got up and picked up the chair he'd knocked over with a scowl on his face. "Sorry about him." His statement was curt and left no room for a reply. Honey-senpai only nodded, a bit concerned for Kaoru but was taken aback by his almost erratic behavior.
After a few silent moments of Hikaru stalking out, Mori came to take the seat across from his cousin. "Don't worry so much, Mitsukuni." The passive statement held more meaning to Honey, who nodded quickly but couldn't make direct eye contact. He wouldn't say anything, of course, but Mori felt like punching Kaoru for upsetting his cousin.

The bathroom doors slammed open, with Hikaru wondering if Kaoru would be in there. He heard noises coming from the end of the stall, was it vomiting? Hikaru rushed over to duck his head under the stall, to see what was happening. Sure enough, he recognized his twin hunched over the toilet as he reached loudly.

"Kaoru! Kaoru, open this door right now!" Hikaru's voice was louder than Kaoru's gags, and they immediately stopped in fright as he registered Hikaru's presence outside the stall's door. "Please leave me alone." Came a small voice from inside. "Are you stupid? Unlock this!"
"I can't, Hikaru." The voice was hoarse with volume.

The older twin's face contorted with anger as he punched the stall door as he heard another gag. No, it was actual vomiting this time. Kaoru continued to purge the contents of his stomach as Hikaru crawled under the stall's opening in the bottom. It was uncomfortable, but Hikaru couldn't care less. He ripped Kaoru away from the toilet he was over by his shoulders, grabbing him and staring him in his defeated looking face. "What the hell do you think you're doing? Why?" After barely a second of not getting a reply, Hikaru shook him violently. The already nauseous Kaoru had to slap a hand against his mouth and close his eyes tightly.

The two sat in a minute of silence, Kaoru looking like he was going to keep throwing up at any second and Hikaru furious beyond all belief. Soon after, Kaoru nodded. Hikaru understood it was a sign to release his grip, and as soon as he did Kaoru spit discolored food into the toilet bowl. "Ggh.." He gasped for air quietly. "I'm sorry, Hikaru, I just really do feel like I'm coming down with something. I'll let the doctors know when the health exam comes." Kaoru managed to get out.

"You're just going to act like this didn't happen? I can't believe this! God, what the fuck is wrong with you? I haven't heard you cough or sneeze once for the past week, you liar!"

"You just don't pay enough attention, I've had the sniffles for a while now." Kaoru retorted stiffly.

That made Hikaru take a step back. He wasn't expecting Kaoru to say he doesn't even pay attention to him. Didn't he know that Kaoru was the ONLY person he usually paid any attention to? Wordlessly, Hikaru slapped him across the cheek. "Don't show up to the club today." Hikaru's voice was hot with anger. The redhead stood up and left the bathroom, heading back to the music room.

Kaoru was left clutching his left cheek, stinging with pain. It took him ten minutes to even get the will to stand up, and flushed the toilet. He walked out and stared at his red, splotchy face in the bathroom mirror. He knew he shouldn't do it here, but instinctively his hand reached for his phone in his suit pocket. Taking body check photos were second nature now whenever he looked into mirrors. Kaoru had to consciously stop himself, and instead washed his face up with cold water.

As he stepped into the school's hallway, he could hear the faint screaming and cooing of the Host Club's clients. The meeting must have started as soon as Hikaru got back to the room. Must have explained away his absence. And from the amount of adoring voices coming from the room, they must have been okay with it. There was a pit in his heart as he walked the other way, the long way around to the front of the school where he would call their personal driver. It took only five minutes for a familiar black limousine to pull in front of the private school, and he silently got in for a tense ride back to his mansion.