When Hikaru passes them in the halls, they are always giggling and playing the "Are they or aren't they?" game; foolish, spoilt girls, never minding who was listening or how their careless words stung.
Well, -I- think they are, one will insist as if her words were the universe's truth, followed by a chorus of wispy curls bopping up and down enthusiastically, shy, feminine giggles, and secretive glances between best friends.
No, they definitely aren't, another will retort angrily, one with more conservative morals (though more likely out of wanting either of them for herself than the said morals), and some glares between those who think They Are and the few that think They Aren't are exchanged.
Sometimes Hikaru will pause for a moment or two and watch their conversation, amused. Other times he will pass them as quickly as possible without making it obvious, dashing but not running, and mutter angry words to drown them out, upset at their mindlessness. Though for the most part, he just ignores them since that is all he can really do to stop them from infecting him with their stupidity as well.
They never see him pass by, continuing their chattering gleefully, and never ask him what really is and what really isn't, preferring their own gossip and bickering to the truth.
But as of late, their gossip is making Hikaru edgier than usual. They're being more malicious now, he thinks, and they're talking about him and Kaoru more and more. Hikaru is jumpy and every time he passes by the group in the halls, he wants to lunge at them and scream for them to stop gossiping.
Only after he catches himself staring at the back of Kaoru's head wondering if they were or they weren't that he realizes the girls have indeed infected him with their disease, and the only reason they made him edgy was because he was letting them and not because of anything else.
He makes a point to avoid them for weeks afterward, taking another one of the million routes in their school to get where he needs to be, avoiding any sort of gossip about him and Kaoru.
Still, Hikaru always finds his thoughts wondering to them, what they are and where it's going, and instead of flirting with his brother, all he really wants to do to Kaoru is grab him by the shoulder, shake him back and forth hard, demanding to know the answer. That is, if Kaoru even knows it.
But Kaoru knows something is wrong and keeps giving him concerned looks, squeezing his hand reassuringly, and that is enough to unnerve Hikaru. Hikaru's problems are their problems, and though Kaoru won't ask, he will ask eventually if Hikaru refuses to tell. There are no secrets between them, and Hikaru would tell him. That is their "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
So he tries to push it back into the dark corners of his mind, erase the hideous thoughts those girls had infected him with so they wouldn't have to acknowledge their game, since that is all it ever was. And the first rule of their game is to not acknowledge the game.
Still, however he tries to lock it all away, Hikaru knows the truth will eventually come out and the rules of the game revealed--and there were rules, even for those as lawless as them. Incest is an unspeakable crime, and their game is nothing more than to find out if they were or if they weren't.
Despite all this, Hikaru knows they that one day they will no longer be able to play the game, that they will have to grow up and face the harsh facts of reality, and confront the truth of their situation. And whoever is the one to reach the end of this inevitable road, the one to find out what is the truth, is the one who loses their game.
Hikaru is not ready to end their game. He is not ready for the truth.