I do not own Gakuen Heaven and I don't make any money with this story.
gomen nasai - sorry
Senpai - older student
"It all looks quite nice." Kaoru gestured towards some students who were decorating the trees with colorful lampions.
"Yes, it will look great after sunset," Omi replied.
They had reached the building and Omi held the door open for Kaoru to enter. The Queen flashed a short smile at his friend and stepped in. On their way up the stairs they met the president of the student council.
"Good to see you, Kaoru-chan," he greeted effusively.
Addressed one tried to escape further up the stairs, but Omi caught him by the wrist and stopped him. "What is it, Niwa?" he asked with a polite smile.
"Well, I know you guys still have some work to do, but we could really need more helping hands for the festival preparations."
"We will hurry," Kaoru assured, eager to get away, and pulled Omi with him.
Reaching the treasury Omi went directly to his PC and started typing. Kaoru sat down next to him to proof read the finished papers. Time passed slowly and Kaoru got bored. His eyes slid down from time to time and it took him a lot of willpower not to fall asleep. With a sigh he let the last paper slide back onto the table and tried to suppress a yawn - not really successfully. Burying his face into his hands for a moment he sighed again. Omi turned to face him.
"Are you not feeling well, Kaoru?" he asked with a worried look.
"I'm just tired. Haven't got enough sleep tonight."
Omi didn't look too convinced, but Kaoru waved his concerns aside and stood up. "I will make some tea," he stated and walked over to the sideboard where they kept their tea supplies.
"I can do that." Omi had followed him and now took the cup Kaoru was holding out of his hands.
"It's not like I'm incapable of preparing tea," Kaoru pouted. "But I suppose it will taste better if you do it," he admitted and took his chair to sit down next to the window.
While Omi waited for the water to boil he searched through the teabags. He always made sure to have a huge amount of Kaoru's favorites in stock. Today he decided for green tea with lemongrass. After putting some sugar in each cup he carried them to Kaoru.
The Queen accepted his cup with a graceful smile. "Thank you, Omi."
"I should be finished in about 10 minutes," Omi informed him while walking back to the computer with his cup. Kaoru just nodded slightly. He didn't like the thought of being bossed around by Niwa, but the King was in charge of the organization and everyone had to help with the preparations.
Taking a small sip from his cup he listened to the clacking sound of Omi's keyboard. The monotonous typing made him even more tired. Resting the hand holding the cup in his lap he stared out of the window. The sight of the trees outside was as boring as the paperwork before and his eyes slowly shut, his mind drifting off to sleep.
A few minutes later Omi had finish the last document and stood up to tell Kaoru. Gently he called out his name while approaching him from behind. No reaction. He has probably fallen asleep Omi thought with slight worry.
Kaoru had told him about being haunted by nightmares a few days ago. What sort of dreams exactly he refused to say but Omi could see that the lack of sleep was getting to him. He wondered whether he should wake Kaoru or not. One person less to help wouldn't make such a great difference, but it would be even harder for Kaoru to fall asleep tonight if he had slept during the afternoon.
Coming to a decision, Omi gently placed his hands on Kaoru's shoulders. Being a light sleeper Kaoru came awake to the touch immediately. Slowly turning his head to face Omi he lifted a hand to brush some strands of hair out of his face. Still dazed from sleep he forgot about the half filled tea cup in his hand and the contents got spilled all over his uniform jacket.
A swear word not suitable for a queen escaped his lips and he shot an accusing glance at Omi.
"I'm sorry, Kaoru," Omi apologized while taking the cup out of his hands. "Why didn't you drink it?"
Kaoru ignored the question, stood up and rushed towards the door. "I'll go and change," he said and left the room.
He opened the cupboard to take out his spare uniform but it was not in its usual place. Remembering to have washed it just yesterday evening he walked outside on the balcony. Sadly, the cloths weren't completely dry yet and, even if they were, he would have to iron them first. Sighing, Kaoru returned to the cupboard and pulled out a pair of brown trousers and a pale blue shirt.
He absolutely hated wearing casual clothes on the school grounds, but the alternative of walking around in dirty clothes also didn't appeal to him. After having changed he decided not to return to the treasury, but instead go looking for anyone he could help with the festival preparations.
"Niwa told me to build up the stage for tomorrow evening," he started to explain his surprising visit. "I could use some help."
Omi smiled a little at that. He wasn't quite sure why exactly the other boy disliked him so much, but it had been like this since their first encounter.
It had been their first day at Bell Liberty and after the morning lessons Omi and Kaoru were crossing the courtyard to get to the Mensa.
"It's great that our rooms are located directly next to each other." Kaoru said and smiled at his best friend. Omi returned the smile and, for a moment distracted by the charming look on Kaoru's face, he ran into another student who just came out of the cafeteria.
"Hey, watch where you're going," he snapped angrily at Omi.
"Gomen nasai, Senpai," Omi said with his usual polite smile. The student was just a little taller than himself, with short black hair that seemed almost blue in the midday sun. His voice had been cold and emotionless, but the narrow eyes behind his glasses stared at Omi with such an intensity that it seemed almost hostile.
"Why are you smiling?" he now asked. "You don't really look sorry. Are you trying to mock me?" He bent down a little his face closing in on Omi's.
"Hide, do you really have to start a fight at every possible opportunity?" Another student had left the cafeteria and now stood at the blue head’s side. His voice had been cheerful, almost teasing, and he had a muscular physique. When he noticed Kaoru his smile grew even wider.
"Kaoru-chan, what a coincidence. Do you remember our encounter this morning?"
"I do indeed," Karou replied, his voice getting an icy touch as he recalled how this stupid guy had mistaken him for a girl because of his long hair. "And I also remember telling you not to call me by this stupid name."
The other student just laughed and clapped a huge hand on his friend's shoulder. "Hey Hide, did you know those two are going to take over the treasury department?"
"Really?" The smaller boy adjusted his glasses with his index finger before he continued speaking, his gaze still fixed on Omi. "They don't seem that capable in my eyes. And it's a lot of work for just two people."
"That's why I was planning to develop some programs which will do the mathematical parts of the work," Omi responded, feeling the need to defend himself against this unfriendly know-it-all.
"Oh, you're a programmer?" the other boy asked with a raised eyebrow, his tone even more condescending than before.
"Afraid of competition, Hide?" the burly student joked.
"No, of course not." With a last smirk the blue head finally averted his penetrating gaze from Omi and walked away. The other boy flashed them an apologetic smile before he hurried to follow his friend.
"What a strange encounter," Kaoru remarked.
"You can say that again," Omi agreed.
Shortly after this event Nakajima had performed his first attack on the treasury's computer and Omi had returned the 'favor' - just for fun and because he liked a good challenge. But Kaoru, who had become fairly good friends with Nakajima over time, had recently asked them both to try for an - at least - neutral behavior towards each other. Nakajima had reluctantly agreed for Kaoru's sake. Of course, this agreement did not include their hacking battles, but still, Nakajima asking Omi for help seemed like an offer of peace.
"Of course I'll help you," Omi now said.
"Very well, just drop that stupid smile, would you?" Nakajima replied coldly and turned around to lead the way.
Well, maybe it would take some time for him to accustom to the new situation, but it was a start, Omi thought, while following Nakajima outside to the gym.
Next to the gym was a storeroom where benches and tables and a lot of other stuff was kept and beside the storeroom was a moveable stage that was normally used for performances of the drama club. Tomorrow, they would act out something as well. And the music club would contribute to the festival with a performance, too.
Niwa already awaited them and helped bringing the stage into the school yard.
"Oi, Omi, where is Kaoru?" he asked while pushing the stage forward, not even slightly panting from the effort.
"I don't know, maybe in his dorm room."
"I'll go look for him. You can manage alone here, I suppose?" The two just nodded and Niwa dashed off, enthusiastic as ever.
"You can set up the background and I will take care of the electronics," Nakajima advised. "There is a ladder in the storeroom if you need it," he added and went to fetch the speakers and microphones.
They were currently making a bowl (non alcoholic, of course, Shinomiya was pretty observant about this) for which Keita was cutting fruits into pieces and Shunsuke mixed them in a huge machine.
"There you are, Kaoru-chan." Niwa had approached from behind and tugged at Kaoru's clothes. "Where is your uniform? I remember you being always quite insistent that no one should wear leisure clothes at school."
"Shut up, Niwa," Kaoru hissed and slapped his hand off, even more annoyed by the fact that Niwa had dared to touch him than by the ridiculous name suffix.
"As friendly as ever," Niwa remarked sarcastically, but still smiling. "You should make yourself useful instead of distracting the others with chatting. Shinomiya needs some help in the kitchen. I think you would be more than appropriate for this job," he added with a devilish grin. "Girls are meant to do the cooking."
Kaoru could barely contain the urge to slap Niwa right into his stupidly grinning face. Staring at the ground and clenching his hands into fist he tried to gain control of himself again and come up with a good reply. When he looked up just some split seconds later Niwa had already turned his attention towards Keita and was trying to feed him a strawberry, which caused the smaller boy to blush slightly.
"You aren't useful here either," Kaoru huffed angrily and walked off in the direction of the cafeteria. This was by far not the first time Niwa had shown interest in Keita and, as far as Kaoru could judge this, the cute student seemed also interested in the king - due to reasons that were completely beyond Kaoru. What he couldn't understand either was why Niwa still amused himself with teasing him when he wasn't even interested anymore. Hopefully this farce would finally stop when Niwa's relationship with Keita developed to a more serious level.
He had already finished putting up the vertical bars and now pulled the curtains on to the third bar. To fasten it on top of the others he would need some help though, since the bar was almost 20 feet long.
Nakajima had vanished some time before so he looked around the yard for some other students. All the benches and tables had been set up by now and the preparations for food and drinks were done inside the school building so there was currently no one else outside. Omi was just about to go and search for Nakajima when he heard light footsteps approaching from behind. He turned around glad that finally some help had turned up, but his smile vanished immediately when he recognized the person walking towards him.
"Shichijou-kun," Umino-sensei cried in his high pitched voice, waving one arm above his head. Omi sighed. He liked the biology teacher, but right now he was, with his slim built, the last person he could use. But he would have to do for now.
"Umino-sensei," he greeted politely as the teacher approached him. "Is something the matter?"
"I haven't seen Tono-sama since this morning. He didn't even come to get his usual fish for lunch. So I'm a bit worried. Think you could find him with that GPS collar you've made him?"
"Theoretically yes, Sensei, but I'm really busy at the moment. Tono-sama will be alright, I'm sure. In fact, I could really use some help here, if you don't mind."
"Of course not, but after wards you will help me, ne? So what am I supposed to do?"
"This bar needs to be fixed on the others," Omi explained. "You have to go up the ladder and screw one end while I'm holding the other side up."
With Satoshi's help they were quickly done with the work and just in that moment a student from the cooking club came running across the yard.
"Umino-sensei," he called already from afar. "Could you please collect your cat from our clubroom, it has already eaten two of the cakes for tomorrow."
"Oh no! I'm so sorry. Seems like I have to go now, Shichijou-kun." Omi just nodded and the teacher hurried of with the other student.
"Saionji-kun, what are you doing here?" A little startled Kaoru explained that Niwa had sent him to help with the cooking.
"Strange," Shinomiya said and ran a hand through his hair. "I told him I'm perfectly fine with just Takuto helping me. He gave the artist, who was currently fanning a huge bowl of rice, a gentle smile and added. "He's actually doing really well."
Until now Iwai had avoided to look up and greet Kaoru, but at Shinomiya's words he raised his head and gave his friend a small smile in return. Kaoru smiled at the sight, too. It was quite rare for Iwai to be seen with a happy expression, but when he was around Shinomiya he always seemed more relaxed than normal. In fact, Kaoru was surprised the archer hadn't realized by now how much Iwai really cared about him. For an outside spectator it was fairly easy to tell from the artist's behavior how much he loved his black haired friend.
"I'm doing my best," Iwai replied, blushing slightly from Shinomiya's compliment.
"Yes, but it seems we really have nothing to do for you here, Saionji-kun," Shinomiya said apologetically. "I'm sorry you came all the way here but surely you know the phrase of too many cooks spoiling the broth."
"It's not that I think you can't cook," he hastily added. And Kaoru knew it wasn't. Shinomiya always tried to be friendly towards everyone and besides of that, Kaoru himself was quite convinced of his abilities in cooking. If Iwai could manage, he certainly could as well. Even if there hadn't been too many occasion when he had had the opportunity to test his ability. But the kitchen was definitely too small for three people.
"I understand, Shinomiya," he simply said and left the cafeteria.
Not wanting to return to the main building - chances were Niwa was still there fussing around with Keita - Kaoru rounded the building until he reached the path that led to the library, which was located in its own small building. The path was lined with trees and some benches in between and Kaoru sat down, lazily stretching his legs out, and closed his eyes. He didn't feel guilty about relaxing while the others were preparing for the festival. After all, he had offered his help - but it wasn't appreciated. And furthermore, he was the Queen of the academy. Even if he didn't like to be called by that nickname in general, sometimes it was quite helpful.
He was about to doze off in the comfortable half shadow that was provided by the trees when something heavy landed in his lap. Startled he opened his eyes and pushed himself in a more upright position. Looking down he was greeted with a pair of eyes almost as green as his own, but with a definitely not so human shape. Tono-sama flicked his tongue out shortly and then rolled himself up in Kaoru's lap, immediately falling asleep.
The head of the treasury eyed the cat curiously, wondering what to do with him. It wasn't like he was afraid of cats, like Niwa, but Tono-sama was quite heavy and Kaoru's nose wrinkled in disgust when he thought about all the hair that would be sticking to his clothes after the cat had left. Careful not to startle the animal, he tried to push it off his legs. But the beast was so heavy he couldn't move it even one inch. Kaoru sighed and leaned back again, trying to simply ignore the cat, when he heard Umino-sensei calling his pet's name. He waved to the teacher who was coming up the same path he had taken before.
"There you are, Tono-sama," Satoshi exclaimed happily. "You aren't supposed to always run away," he scolded his cat. "I don't want another incident like that with the cakes of the cooking club." "I'm sorry he bothered you, Saionji-kun," he added and lifted his cat off of Kaoru's lap.
How the small teacher was able to carry so much weight around campus all day had always been beyond Kaoru and he was even more impressed now that he had experienced the huge weight of the cat himself.
"Everything is perfectly alright, Umino-sensei," Kaoru assured and wanted to close his eyes again.
"Now that I meet you here," Satoshi started. "I have just helped Shichijou-kun with setting up the stage. Maybe you wanna go give him a hand. It seemed to me like he still had some work to do."
"Yes, I will do that, Sensei," Kaoru replied with smile and gracefully rose from his sitting position. "I was just about to get bored anyway."
arigatô - thank you
oyasumi - good night
When Omi returned to the stage, Nakajima was already performing a sound check and ordered him to make sure the background curtains could be moved smoothly now. Carefully at first, but then with increasing strength he pulled at the thick cloth layers. At first, everything slid smoothly across the bar, but then it seemed to be stuck and he pulled even harder. There was a creaking sound and the horizontal bar flung free from its support. Apparently, not all screws had been fastened correctly and the whole upper construction came tumbling down towards Omi.
A small cry of surprise escaped his lips and then he was buried underneath the curtains. The sound of the bar crashing onto the stage alerted Nakajima and he turned around.
"What are you fooling around there? I hadn't thought you would be that incompetent when it comes to things that are more hands-on than your usual computer stuff," he smirked.
When there was no response from underneath the curtains Nakajima walked over to Omi, a worried frown appearing on his forehead. "Shichijou?" he asked and pulled the cloths to the side. Omi was lying on the wooden floor, eyes closed and obviously knocked unconscious from the iron bar. Nakajima knelt down beside him and just then caught sight of a trickle of blood running down Omi's cheek. He cursed and slightly tilted the silver head for closer inspection. Carefully brushing the soft hair to the side he spotted a wound a few inches above the left eye, close to the hairline. The injury was not big, but bleeding quite heavy, as usual for a head wound. Some strands of hair were already soaked with blood. Quickly, he started to undo Omi's tie to use it as a bandage when he heard an angry voice behind him.
Niwa had come to check on their progress and since he could only see Nakajima and the mass of curtains, apparently carelessly tossed to the ground, he shouted. "Hey, Hide, be more careful with the cloths. Shinomiya has spent half the night ironing them."
"For god’s sake, Niwa. Just shut up, would you?" Nakajima shot back angrily. The note of urgency in his friend’s voice puzzled Niwa. As he got closer, he now spotted a figure lying on the ground and started running.
"What happened, Hide?" the King demanded once he had reached the stage.
"Doesn’t matter at the moment." Nakajima had finally finished undoing his and Omi's ties and was now wrapping one of the cloth stripes around Omi's head to fasten the second, folded tie over the wound. It wasn't such good bandage, as the fabric would be soaked with blood quite quickly, but at the moment he had nothing better to use.
Niwa had knelt beside him and Hide now turned to face his friend. "We need to get him to the infirmary." The King nodded his agreement and bent over to lift Omi from the ground.
"You think you can carry him?" Hide asked doubtfully. Granted, the King was the strongest on campus, but Omi was not a lightweight like Keita. "He's nearly as tall as you…" he added, but Niwa interrupted him.
"It’s not that far to go. I think I can handle it. Just go ahead and open the door." Nakajima did as he was told and Niwa followed as quickly as possible with the extra weigh he was carrying. He wondered a little about the worry in his friend's voice, not sure if it was directed at him or the wellbeing of the silver haired boy. A small smile touched Niwa's lips. Maybe Hide's feelings towards Omi were actually different from what he wanted everyone to think. But now was not the time to investigate this further, the King reminded himself, as he carried Omi up the stairs.
Quickly Kaoru escaped upstairs to the first floor. It wasn't that he disliked Naruse on principle, but his voice and behavior sometimes just freaked him out. As he walked down the corridor, intending to take the next staircase down again to join Omi in the courtyard, he caught sight of someone rushing up the stairs to the second floor. Niwa's huge built was unmistakable and so was the man following behind.
"Hide!" Kaoru called through the corridor. The blue head turned to face Kaoru, a worried expression on his face. The Queen quickly made up the distance to his friend and asked curiously. "What are you up to, Hide? You're almost running up the stairs."
Nakajima looked up to Niwa, who had continued his way upstairs. Following his gaze, Kaoru noticed a pair of feet dangling down behind Niwa's huge back - strangely familiar feet.
"Omi," he cried out in surprise and rushed to Niwa's side. "What happened?" he snapped at the King. "And is that blood on his face?" He stretched out a hand, his slightly shaking fingers stroking gentle over Omi's cheek.
Before Niwa could even start to explain, Kaoru felt two slender hands on his shoulders.
"Everything will be alright, Kaoru," Hide assured and slightly pushed the trembling figure in front of him further up the stairs.
The infirmary was located on the second floor right next to the staircase. Kaoru opened the door for Niwa and wanted to follow him inside, but Hide grabbed his wrist and pulled him towards some chairs on the opposite side of the corridor.
"Let go off my hand, Hide," Kaoru hissed angrily. "I'm not going to leave Omi alone in this condition."
"You would just be in the way," Hide remarked - not very tactful - and urged Kaoru to take a seat. "Just calm down a little. I'll tell you what happened."
"He got a blow on the head and fell unconscious," Niwa explained while Matsuoka bent over Omi and loosened the provisional bandage.
"Hm, doesn't look too bad. It has almost stopped bleeding." He disinfected the wound and covered it with a large square-cut plaster.
"I'm afraid I can't do anything more at the moment. We just have to wait until he wakes up."
Niwa nodded and walked over to the door. "I will let Kaoru in, then."
"Can we leave you alone, now?" he asked gently. "The stage has to be set up again."
"Sure," Kaoru replied without turning around, his eyes fixed on Omi's face.
"Would you like something to drink, Kaoru?" Matsuoka offered. The Queen just shook his head. "Will he be alright?" he asked quietly.
"Well, I can't say that for sure until he wakes up, but you shouldn't worry too much," Matsuoka said and placed a reassuring hand on Kaoru's shoulder.
"Call me when his condition changes," he added after a moment and went back into his office.
Kaoru reached out with his free hand to touch the mole under Omi's left eye and then gently ran his fingers through his friend's short hair, quietly whispering his name.
He remained sitting on the bed for almost 20 minutes, listening to Omi's calm breathing and never letting go of his hand. He really tried to force himself to stay positive, but he couldn't completely suppress the fear that there might be severe damage done and Omi would never wake up again. He was about to go and ask Matsuoka-sensei to bring Omi to a hospital for closer inspection when he felt a light squeeze of his hand and Omi's eyes opened, greeting Kaoru with their violet shine.
Before Omi even had a chance to take in his surroundings, Kaoru had thrown himself onto his friend. Hands clenching tightly into the fabric of his friend's shirt he buried his head against Omi's neck, whispering his name over and over again. Omi lay still, completely taken aback by the sudden assault. But when he felt something wet running down his collarbone he started to struggle underneath his friend’s weight, pushing him away a little to be able to look into his face.
"Kaoru, why are you crying?" he asked, reaching out to wipe a tear off Kaoru's face.
"Why?" Kaoru repeated in disbelief, moving aside to avoid his friend's hand.
"You do realize that you were insanely lucky, don't you, Omi? You could be dead by now!" He was sitting upright now, nearly shouting at his friend.
"Kaoru," Omi said softly, shocked by the sudden outburst. "Don't you think you're exaggerating a little? I'm fine, really." He tried to reach out and embrace Kaoru, but the other boy evaded his attempt.
"It's not alright, Omi," Kaoru said angrily. "Why are you acting so indifferent about your wellbeing? You could have lost a part of your memory in this accident!"
He lowered his head, his voice fading until Omi could barely understand him as he continued. "What if you had forgotten that you know me?" He look up at Omi again, his face wet with tears. "I wouldn't know what to do without you, Omi," he whispered.
This time Kaoru didn't pull away and Omi wrapped his arms tightly around the slender figure, his hands stroking up and down Kaoru's back in a calming gesture. When his friend had finally stopped crying, Omi loosened the embrace to look at him.
"Arigatô," he said slowly and placed a kiss on Kaoru's forehead.
"It's good to see you've woken up, Shichijou-kun."
Kaoru hastily wiped the tears from his face and stood up when Matsuoka approached the bed.
"Do you feel dizzy?" the doctor asked Omi. "Headache? Or any other injuries?" Omi shook his head. "No, I feel fine."
"In that case, you are free to leave now. But I suggest you don't do anything exhausting for the rest of the day. And if you start feeling unwell, don't hesitate to tell me."
"Hai. Arigatô, Sensei." Omi replied and rose from the bed. Both students bowed slightly to the doctor before they left the infirmary.
"About half an hour, I think", Kaoru answered. Looking at his watch he added. "It's almost six o'clock now. So we can go get something to eat if you like."
Kaoru helped himself to a small bowl of salad and walked over to a table by the window. Omi chose a hamburger and quickly followed his friend, nodding a short greeting when he passed by the other occupied table.
"Don't you think you should eat a bit more," he asked while sitting down. "You only had soup for lunch."
"I'm not very hungry at the moment, Omi. And you don't have to monitor my eating habits like Shinomiya does with Iwai. I'm not a child."
"I was just worried."
"Well, you don't have to."
Omi didn't bother to take this argument any further. It seemed Kaoru was still angry with him, but he knew from experience that his friend would be back to normal by tomorrow if he didn't annoy him any further.
They finished their meal in silence and then went back to the dorm.
"Of course," Kaoru replied. "Oyasumi."
"Oyasumi," Omi repeated, even though Kaoru had already closed his door. Sighing he entered his own room.
He changed into his nightwear and made himself comfortable in bed. A glance at the alarm clock told him that it was still too early to sleep, so he reached out for a book on the bedside table that he had bought last weekend. The story was really good and got more exciting with every further page so he didn't realize how the time passed.
When he finally reached the end of the book it was nearly eleven o'clock. Putting the book aside, he was just about to turn off the bedside lamp when he heard a faint knock at his door. Surprised, he got up again. The students were normally not allowed to be out on the corridor after 10 o'clock so he couldn't think of anyone who would visit at this time. Umino-sensei would technically be allowed to, but he saw no reason the teacher would disturb him at such a late time. Opening the door he saw the last person he had expected to meet again today.
Kaoru was standing in the corridor, barefoot, in light yellow pajamas. He held his hands behind his back as if hiding something from Omi's view and shifted from one foot to the other. Whether he was nervous, or the floor just cold, Omi couldn't tell for sure.
"Sorry, if I disturbed you," Kaoru said. "Have you been sleeping already?"
"No. What's the matter, Kaoru?" Omi asked, puzzled. Kaoru had never come to his room that late before.
"I…" Kaoru started hesitantly, "..can't fall asleep. Can I stay with you?"
"…yeah, of course," Omi smiled and briefly hugged his friend to hide the surprise on his face.
"Come in," he said and took Kaoru's arm, now seeing the pillow he had been hiding behind his back.
Kaoru sighed inwardly. He had been afraid that Omi would question his motives further. It wasn't really true that he couldn't fall asleep. Maybe he was a little afraid of having a nightmare again, but he could deal with that on his own. No, the truth was, he had to tell his friend something that he would probably only manage to do in the dark.
Lying down on Omi's bed he moved over to the wall, leaving half of the mattress unoccupied. The pillow next to him smelled like Omi and he deeply inhaled the scent he had grown so fond of.
First, Kaoru's exaggerated behavior in the infirmary, then the clipped conversation during dinner and now he showed up in the middle of the night with some strange excuse Omi was not willing to believe. He could not think of an explanation for all of this and, to be honest, at the moment he just wanted to go to sleep. Sighing he left the bathroom.
Kaoru was still awake when he returned to bed and after Omi had switched off the light Kaoru moved closer towards him until his head rested against Omi's chest. He felt Kaoru's hands holding onto his nightshirt and wrapped an arm around the smaller body beside him. Whatever the reason was for Kaoru's behavior, for the moment he would just enjoy this feeling.
He couldn't exactly say when he had fallen in love, but one day in Junior High he had realized that Kaoru was much more to him than just his best friend. From that day on he had tried to hide his feelings, afraid of destroying their friendship with his confession. But he had been dreaming countless times of kissing those well-shaped lips or embracing Kaoru in way that was more than just comforting a friend.
And now they were sharing a bed, lying so close to each other that Omi could almost feel Kaoru's heartbeat.
Listening to Kaoru's even breathing, he ran his hand trough the soft strands of silky hair that were spread on the pillow beside him and in this moment, he felt incredibly happy.
Kaoru's soft voice pulled him out of his thoughts.
"Are you still awake?" he whispered.
"No, but I thought you were sleeping already."
"I want to apologize for acting so strange today. It's just that I was… really worried about you. And when I saw you lying in that bed, seeming so lifeless, I was afraid I could… lose you forever."
His voice was quiet, muffled by Omi's body.
"It was then that I realized something important. But I wasn't sure how to tell you. Since we met in elementary school you have always been the most important person in my life, but it took until now for me to realize that you are more than just a friend to me, Omi. I never felt about anyone the way I do about you, but I'm quite sure that this feeling… is love."
Raising his head from Omi's chest, Kaoru looked up to meet his friend's eyes in the dim moonlight that trickled in through the half open curtains.
"I love you, Omi" he repeated. His face came closer until their lips met in a brief kiss before Kaoru drew back just a split second later, expectantly looking at his friend, waiting for his reaction. At first, Omi just stared at Kaoru's face, disbelief in his eyes. But then, a smile slowly appeared on his face. It wasn't the kind of polite smile he used at every occasion, but the one that showed his true emotions, the one that was reserved only for Kaoru.
"I'm so happy," he whispered and gently returned the kiss.
"Can I take this as an ‘I love you, too’?" Kaoru asked, once he could speak again.
"Hai," Omi said and pulled Kaoru back into his arms. Burying his face against Omi's chest again Kaoru sighed contentedly and they soon fell asleep.
hai - yes
nandemonai - nothing
sumimasen - sorry
"I'm not asleep," his friend stated unnecessarily. "Can't we stay in bed for a little longer, there's no school today." Omi looked at his alarm clock. "You do realize that it's already past 9 o'clock? If you don't get up now, we will be forced to skip breakfast."
"I don't mind if I get you for breakfast instead," Kaoru said and tried to sneak a kiss from his friend.
"I'm not sure you really know what you're talking about," Omi said and ruffled Kaoru's hair with his hand.
"Stop that," Kaoru pouted. "I bet my hair already sticks out in all direction without you messing it up. And what did you mean with that comment? Do you think I don't know how to have sex with a boy?"
"No," Omi hurried to say. "It's just that you always try to avoid physical contact with other people. It took quite some time for you to get used to being touched by me."
"See, so it's different with you. I trust you, Omi. That's why I'm ok with it."
"All right, if you say so. But I'm actually hungry now. So if you don't get up, I'll go without you."
"Hai, Hai. I'm coming. But my uniform is still dirty and I haven't had time to iron the second one," Kaoru complained.
"I can do that after breakfast," Omi promised. "For now, you will have to wear the clothes from yesterday."
Omi had already dressed while they were talking and now took Kaoru's key from the table where he had placed it last evening. "I'll go and fetch them from your room."
"Thanks," Kaoru said, walking over to the bathroom to wash his face.
The hairstyle really suited him, Omi thought. It emphasized his slender neck and the shorter strands of hair that had escaped from the elastic softened the severe look.
"There's no need to worry," he said. "We're really late for breakfast today."
They ate in companionable silence, but when he had just finished his meal, Omi spotted Niwa walking towards their table. He was about to warn Kaoru, but the King had already approached his friend from behind and tugged at the tied up hair.
"Nice hairstyle, Kaoru-chan," he said. "But I'm still missing your uniform. You seem to be developing quite a bad habit."
Kaoru turned around in annoyance, slamming his elbow into Niwa's stomach. "Don't touch me again," he hissed, as the King doubled over, but quickly recovered from the pain. Kaoru was just not strong enough to really hurt him.
"Uh, such a charming morning greeting," Niwa commented and took a seat at their table without bothering to ask. Ignoring Kaoru's icy look he turned towards Omi instead.
"It's good to see you up and about again, Shichijou. Hide even went to the infirmary last evening to ask about your condition." "Didn't you, Hide?" he added over his shoulder. By now Nakajima had walked over as well and stood behind Niwa's chair.
"Only because you told me to do it," he replied sourly, crossing his arms in a defensive gesture.
"But you didn't complain about it, either," Niwa teased. "Admit it, Hide, you're not as mean as you want everyone to believe."
Nakajima glared at Niwa, then turned on the spot and walked towards the door. Niwa just chuckled, making no move to get up and follow his friend.
"It's really nice of you to be worried about Omi," Kaoru said, forcing himself to be friendly. "But could you please leave us alone now?"
"In a moment," Niwa said, in his overly cheerful voice. "There is just one more thing we need to discuss." He pulled out a small package from his pocket and placed it next to Kaoru's plate.
Kaoru eyed it suspiciously. It was wrapped in light green paper and tied with a pink ribbon.
"What's that supposed to be, Niwa. It's still half a year until my birthday and even then I would not accept a present from you."
"Come on, Kaoru," Niwa said exasperated. "Stop being to grumpy and just open it already."
Kaoru looked at Omi for advice, but his friend was displaying his usual indifferent smile. Sighing, he returned his attention to the item in front of him and carefully tugged at the ribbon. The paper unfolded onto the table, revealing a shining jewelry inside.
"What the hell, Niwa," Kaoru exclaimed. "That's a crown, for god's sake."
Niwa inclined his head. "A crown for our beloved Queen," he confirmed with a wide grin. "Would you like to try it on?"
"Certainly not," Kaoru snapped, his eyes narrowing in disgust. Omi's expression had changed from neutral to slightly amused, but he did not say anything.
"I just thought you might like to try it out before this evening," Niwa said.
Kaoru frowned. "I'm afraid I can't follow…"
"Well," Niwa continued, leaning back in the chair with a satisfied smile. "As you both know all the different clubs are contributing to our school festival. And the chairman has asked me to come up with something of combined effort between the student council and the treasury."
Kaoru sighed, already fearing for the worst. "And what exactly did you come up with," he demanded.
"I thought we could do a bit of dancing. Sort of like an opening ceremony. You and me, the royal couple of the academy…"
"Couple," Kaoru interrupted. "In your dreams, Niwa. And what about Omi and Hide? Are they not required to contribute something as well?" he asked sarcastically.
"I somehow can't picture those two dancing together," Niwa laughed. He quickly got up from his chair before Kaoru could protest any further. "I'll see you at the gym after lunch for practice," he added and hurried away. "Oh, and I almost forgot to mention," he called over his shoulder. "The drama club has agreed to lend us some costumes."
"What a jerk," Kaoru huffed angrily, then rounded on his friend. "Why didn't you say something, Omi? And don't you dare start laughing," he added upon seeing his friends face.
Omi quickly schooled his features into a more neutral expression and carefully said. "Maybe you shouldn't take this so seriously, Kaoru. It might be funny."
"Funny," Kaoru repeated disbelievingly. "What's gotten into you, Omi." And with that he jumped up from the table and stormed out of the cafeteria.
Omi sighed, picked up the forgotten crown from the table and followed his friend.
They were currently in Omi's dorm room. Kaoru had finally calmed down again and was brushing out his hair while Omi ironed his uniform, as promised.
"I can't help but think that this is only a very elaborate joke," Kaoru continued.
"Niwa certainly seems to enjoy riling you up," Omi commented. Maybe he would stop doing it if you don't rise to the bait so easily. It's no fun teasing someone who just ignores you."
"So… you think it's my fault then," Kaoru said thoughtfully. "That I would be able to change his behavior."
"It would be in my best interest as well if he stopped flirting with you all the time," Omi said. He had finished with the uniform and sat down on the bed next to Kaoru. "Now that we are…" he paused, reaching for Kaoru's hair and starting to twirl a silky strand around his finger, "…lovers."
Kaoru blushed. "Surely you're not jealous of Niwa," he asked with mock seriousness.
"Of course not." Omi smiled. "He doesn't have the slightest chance against me. And anyway, we both know that he's more interested in Keita."
Kaoru's arms wrapped around Omi's neck, pulling him closer. "Let's not talk about Niwa anymore," he said and angled his face up to kiss Omi.
Their ragged breathing filled the room as the kiss grew more intense, then Omi let out a soft grunt when Kaoru pushed him down onto the mattress.
Placing himself on top of his friend's body he started kissing down Omi's neck to his collarbone. He was just reaching out to open the first button on Omi's shirt when his friend gently pushed him away.
Kaoru shot him a hurt look and moved to the other side of the bed.
"I think we should save that for later," Omi explained, reaching out a hand towards Kaoru. "You wouldn't want to be late for practice."
"I thought we agreed that it was just a joke," Kaoru pouted, but allowed Omi to pull him into a brief hug.
"I wouldn't take any chances."
"All right, I'm going," Kaoru sighed while getting up from the bed.
"But I won't wear a dress for practice," he stated before closing the door behind him.
"Chairman," Kaoru greeted with a slight bow. When there was no one else around he could use Kazuki's actual title, and it would have been disrespectful not to do so.
"Saionji-kun," Kazuki replied. "Shichijou brought me the reports yesterday. You've done a good job, as always."
"Thank you. Are you looking forward to the festival?" Kaoru inquired.
"Yes, I'm hoping to get to spend some time with Keita. We haven't seen much of each other in the last week. He seems to be quite taken with the student council president." The sad note in Kazuki's voice was unmistakable. Kaoru felt a bit sorry for him, but Keita was old enough to make his own decisions.
"Yes, I've noticed that as well, but I'm sure he will still want you as his friend," he said - probably not the best thing he could have come up with, but he had never been good at cheering other people up. "Speaking of Niwa though," he added. "Did you ask him to prepare an opening ceremony for the festival together with the treasury?"
"Not that I remember," Kazuki replied, a little bemused. "But it sounds like a nice idea."
"Oh, no. Just forget that I ever asked, please," Kaoru hurried to say. "See you this evening," he added and quickly hurried away, leaving Kazuki in the corridor with a puzzled expression.
"The costume's are in the box over there. Should we try them on immediately or would you rather…" He stopped abruptly when Kaoru came to a halt in front of him. The slapping sound resonated loudly in the empty gym as Kaoru's palm connected with the King's cheek.
"You're insufferable, Niwa," the Queen announced before turning on the spot and storming out the way he had come, his hair bouncing angrily with every step.
"Just shut up, Hide," Niwa grumbled as he sat down at his desk.
Kaoru slipped his hand into Omi's, entangling their fingers, and closed his eyes contently.
"Are you cold?" Omi asked when he felt the chilled fingers touching his own.
"Just a little," Kaoru murmured sleepily.
Omi pulled off his school blazer and placed it around his friend's shoulders.
Kaoru's eyes opened again and he smiled up at him. "Thanks, Omi. But you will be cold now."
"I'm fine," Omi insisted, and it wasn't even a lie. Still wearing his shirt and vest he felt warm enough even in the cool evening air.
"But we can warm each other," he suggested, not entirely without ulterior motives, and pulled Kaoru closer until he was half seated on his lap. Kaoru gave a small sigh as Omi's arms wrapped around him and closed his eyes again.
A few minutes later Kaoru had fallen asleep, his head tilting sideways off of Omi's shoulder. It didn't look too comfortable so Omi gently laid him down on the bench with his head resting in his lap. Kaoru murmured something in his sleep and drew his legs up closer to his body. Absentmindedly, Omi started to run a hand through the silky hair, then took a sip from the glass in front of him. He wondered briefly if he should wake Kaoru and get him to bed, but decided against it. It wasn't that cold yet and - at least for the moment - Kaoru looked comfortable. A small smile stole onto Omi's lips as he studied the peaceful face of his friend.
"Isn't it boring to sit here alone?" Omi looked up, a little startled. Satoshi had approached the table, Tono-sama in his arms. The cat mewed and shortly flicked out his tongue towards him. Even though Omi knew it was a habit he couldn't help but think the cat was making fun of him every time he did it.
"I'm not alone actually," he said, gesturing down at the sleeping Kaoru, whom Satoshi had not noticed from across the table. "But I won't object if you would like to keep us company.
Nodding, the teacher sat down on the bench and poured himself a glass of juice. "Thank you, Shichijou. I don't feel comfortable sitting with the other teachers, but we also don't want to go to bed this early, nee Tono-sama."
Omi smiled understandingly. He knew that the teacher wasn't getting along so well with his other colleges. They sometimes made fun of him because of his small built and his scatterbrain personality - and talking to his cat certainly didn't help to be taken serious.
They had become friends when Omi started to visit Satoshi in his lab whenever he had nothing to do in the treasury. He was honestly curious about the teacher's research and experiments and so they always had a topic to discuss. On the other hand, Satoshi was fascinated by Omi's computer skills and often asked him for help with his own PC. Omi really enjoyed that. There weren't many people at the academy who shared his interest in that topic and he definitely couldn't go and chitchat with Nakajima.
Time flew by as he talked with Satoshi and when he looked around the courtyard again he noticed that most of the students had already left for their dorm rooms. Shinomiya was walking between the tables, collecting the paper serviettes and some other light stuff that might be blown away with the wind. Takuto and Naruse helped him. The other things could be left outside until the morning when everyone would help with the cleaning up.
Niwa had not left yet either, Omi noted, when he saw him approaching their table. "Hey, Shichijou. Has Kaoru gone to bed already?" he asked in his usual loud voice. "Be quiet, Niwa. He's sleeping," Omi admonished, gesturing down to the figure beside him. "What do you want from him," he asked, a little irritated.
"Mmh… nothing in particular," Niwa admitted. "I just..."
"I would really appreciate it if you could just leave him alone," Omi interrupted. "I think he has expressed his feelings towards you quite unmistakably on more than one occasion. And besides of that, you aren't even interested in him anymore now that you have cute, little Keita to play with, right?"
"I don't know why this would concern you in anyway, he's not your property, you know, but…"
"Just for your information, Niwa," Omi snapped irritated. "We are officially dating since yesterday and…"
"Oh, I always thought you had been together since before you even came to this school," Satoshi interrupted, but Niwa was clearly surprised by Omi's proclamation.
"Really, you always seemed a bit… distanced, in my opinion," he mused. Never would have guessed that you could be more than friends."
"Well, you've never been good at recognizing such things, not only in this case," Omi murmured quietly.
"Sorry?" Niwa asked. "Nandemonai," Omi said quickly.
Niwa just shrugged. "Anyway, Hide told me something similar today. About leaving Kaoru alone, I mean. You two really are quite alike sometimes. But Hide is probably just concerned about his friend's wellbeing, too. Speaking of which, shouldn't you take Kaoru to bed if he is that tired."
"I was just about to do that," Omi snapped.
"Do you need help," Niwa offered with an impish smile.
"No, thanks," Omi said, glaring at Niwa. "I'm quite capable of carrying my boyfriend, if necessary. And I somehow don't think he would appreciate your help."
"I certainly wouldn't," Kaoru interrupted. "Why are you always talking so loud, Niwa," he complained as he struggled to get into an upright position.
"Sumimasen, Kaoru," Omi apologized, even though the comment hadn't been directed at him.
"I think I will go to bed, now," Satoshi said and stood up. "I'll see you on Monday in class," he added and walked away, Tono-sama, who had fallen asleep sometime before, in his arms.
"Come on, Niwa." Nakajima had appeared behind his friend and grabbed his arm to pull him away. "Didn't I tell you to leave Kaoru alone? That will be much better for your health, as well," he added with a smirk. "Oyasumi," he said to Kaoru while dragging the King with him towards the dormitory.
"All right, let's go inside as well," Omi said when Kaoru started to shiver. They walked towards the main building and Kaoru reached out to take Omi's arm, snuggling close to him.
"Thank you," he said.
"For what," Omi asked puzzled.
"For what you said to Niwa, and for calling me your boyfriend in public."
"I thought you were asleep," Omi said, mock offended.
Kaoru smiled. "I woke up when Niwa came to our table."
"I guess he really has an annoyingly loud voice," Omi stated.
"You know," Kaoru said, turning to look up at his friend. "Even on the off chance that I'm repeating myself, let us not talk about Niwa anymore." And with that he stood up on tiptoe to kiss his boyfriend.
Chapter 4: Epilogue
Omi was staring at his computer monitor, a sad expression on his face. There hadn't been any attacks from Nakajima in the last five days.
Kaoru approached him from behind and wrapped his arms around him, placing a kiss on Omi's neck.
"What are you waiting for?" he asked innocently.
"You know that very well already, don't you?" Omi replied, not fooled for even a second by his friend. "Did you say something to Nakajima?"
"Uhm, maybe I asked him to reduce his attacks to the absolutely necessary minimum?" Omi's face turned down in disappointment. "Why did you do that?"
"Because you're spending far too much time at this computer," Kaoru tried to justify himself.
"Are you jealous?" Omi asked disbelievingly.
"Not of the computer," Kaoru said slowly. "Just… of the person at the other end. Now I have your undivided attention. And, besides of that, Niwa already complained that Nakajima gets angry at him even more quickly now when he doesn't finish his paperwork in time. So, win-win situation for everyone," Kaoru smiled. "Don't worry, though," he added. "I bet Hide will give in to the temptation sometime during the next days. He's really bored without tormenting you, even if he would never admit it."
That made Omi smile again. "Arigatô, Kaoru. I promise we won't overdo it and for the moment… maybe you should make use of my undivided attention," he said and pulled Kaoru over to the couch.