Brother and A Crush
Kiku had just arrived home, when he noticed his Chinese brother standing in front of the house, arms crossed in front of his chest with a tremendous glare on his face. Kiku looked away; he knew what his brother was going to ask him.
"You are late, aru! Where have you been? I even prepared yamcha for you, Kiku!"
"Sorry, I just had dinner outside, with Arthur-san." Kiku couldn't help but flinch when he saw Yao's face turning red with anger.
"What? With that British guy again, aru?" Yao almost shouted when he heard Arthur's name. Kiku took a cautious step back.
"He kept on bothering you, aru! Don't tell me that you have finished all of the work for today."
"That's right," Kiku answered shortly.
"That slave-driver! I will have to remind him not to work you too hard, aru. And then why would he invite you to have dinner with him, aru? It's obvious that he's up to something, aru." Yao kept on rambling, not even noticing Kiku's already frustrated look.
"Don't talk about Arthur-san like that! I'm the one who wanted to finish all of the work, he even told me not to overwork myself. Don't speak bad things about him, Yao-san, you don't even know him that well." Kiku glared at him, and Yao could only stare back with slight shock. Kiku had never spoken like that towards him, and it made Yao frown. Has he taken a liking to that British boy, aru?
"You've never talked to me that way before, Kiku," Yao began slowly. "If it's about Arthur, you immediately react and you even defend him, aru. Are you possibly interested in him, aru?" Yao leaned forward, eyeing him seriously. Kiku looked away, and took a few steps back.
"No, of course not! He's just a friend, and he's very nice, that's all." Kiku hurriedly took off his shoes and walked past Yao, who followed him with a stunned look until he had disappeared into his room, not far from the stairs at the very corner of the hall.
"Hit the bull… huh?" spoke a voice out of one side of the corridor. Yao's youngest sibling came out, grinning. Yong Soo had apparently heard everything.
"He's fallen in love with him, aru!" Yao hissed, staring after the door where Kiku had disappeared into.
"Hyung Nim*, you can't babysit him forever," Yong Soo said sensibly, only for it to be followed by, "Don't worry, you still have me!" He quickly ran towards Yao and encircled his arms around his older brother's waist. Yao sighed and resisted the urge to roll his eyes.
"Aiyaa.. He is your brother too, Yong Soo! Besides, who knows if that Kirkland guy is just playing with him?
Yong Soo simply smiled at Yao's worrying nature. "Don't worry. Kiku will surely know if something unusual's going to happen. And we'll always be able to comfort him if something does. Anyway, Arthur himself went through a harsh time not long ago, right?" Yong Soo let go of Yao when his brother nudged him away.
"That's what I'm worried about. Who knows if his heart is still with Alfred, and he just turned to Kiku because our brother was being so nice?" Yao grimaced before entering the dining room. He began clearing up since Kiku wasn't going to have dinner anymore.
"Don't worry, Hyung! He will be fine. Arthur knows how awful it is to get dumped, so he wouldn't dare do that to Kiku-nii." Yong Soo sat down and made himself a cup of tea.
Yao was about to put the plate of yamcha away when he heard a voice from the entrance of the dining room.
"Yao-san, I still want to eat the yamcha, since you've taken the time to prepare it," Kiku said humbly, before Yao was able to put it inside the refrigerator. He had already changed into his night clothes.
"Kiku, I'd be glad if you still want to eat the yamcha. Should I heat it up again, aru?"
Kiku walked over to the table and took the seat across Yong Soo. "No, it's alright," Kiku said while taking a pair of chopsticks. Yao smiled at him and sat next to his brothers, setting the plate down before his brother.
"Tomorrow is Saturday, aru. Do you have time to go to the airport with us, aru? Hong is going to come here for a visit and stay with us for some time."
"Of course I have. I'm glad I've finished all of my work for today," Kiku replied as he ate.
Yao's smile grew wider. "Great, aru!"
"By the way, Kiku-nii, if you want some love advice, you can ask me, da-ze!" Yong Soo interjected, pointing a thumb at himself proudly, and earning a weird look from Kiku.. Yao's vein popped and he stomped on Yong soo's foot, making him yelpin pain.
"Hyung! What are you doing?" Yong Soo hissed as he massaged his abused toes.
"You are talking nonsense, aru!" Yao shouted at him while Kiku watched Yong Soo in worry. He chuckled weakly at his siblings.
"Both of you, please don't quarrel… I'm still eating you know," Kiku voiced out uneasily. Yao and Yong Soo stopped arguing upon Kiku's warning. They both simmered down, while Kiku continued to eat. After a while, Yong Soo sprang up.
"I'm going to sleep now, good night, Hyung, Kiku-nii," Yong Soo said cheerfully.
"Good night, aru." Both almost spoke at the same time while Yong Soo walked outside the dining room.
Yao stared dangerously at the British man standing in front of his door. The person in question smirked in return.
"What are you doing here, aru?" Yao ask in a dangerously low tone. He folded his arms across his chest and glared.
"I want to meet your brother…"
"Too bad, aru. Kiku is not home right now. Go home." Yao turned around, knowing full well who the Englishman wanted to meet. He was about to close the door when it was suddenly held back by Arthur. Yao was startled, but quickly recovered and began tugging it in an attempt to close the door. They both continued their mini tug-of-war until they heard a voice from behind.
"Err… what are you doing?" Kiku asked in bewilderment as he watched his brother struggling on the door frame. Yao finally noticed him and yanked the door open, crushing Arthur's nose as the force of the pull propelled him along with it, stopping with a smack against the hard wood. Arthur winced as he rubbed his sore nose, growling at Yao who only gave him an evil smirk.
"Kiku, you are back, aru!" Yao then shouted in a fake excitement, turning to his brother. Kiku only looked at him questioningly; he had never gone anywhere, and had just been sitting at the backyard when he had heard someone knocking.
"Are you ready to leave, aru? We have to go and pick up Hong in the airport, aru." Yao quickly ran to him with unusual enthusiasm. Kiku watched him in full wonderment until he noticed Arthur in the sidelines, rubbing his nose.
"Aah, well, we still have a few hours, Yao-nii. It's a good thing Arthur came here early, I would like to bring him inside and have a cup of tea with him," Kiku said, directing a kind smile at Arthur who seemed surprised at his stroke of luck. Yao was immediately annoyed and embarrassed at the same time, appalled that Kiku would choose that boy over him.
"Alright, fine, aru!" Yao gave up begrudgingly, heading for their car and grumbling something in Chinese. Arthur gave him a winning smirk as he passed, and promptly changed it to a worried look when Kiku glanced his way.
"Are you sure it's alright?" Arthur asked him for good measure, and he was glad Kiku nodded.
"Of course. We don't have to be in the airport for a few more hours and I have nothing to do right now since I've finished all of my work. So, let's go in and have a chat," Kiku invited, leading Arthur inside and closing the door behind them. Kiku left him in their leaving room to prepare themselves some tea.
After a while, Arthur noticed their backyard garden, and slowly settled himself on the porch instead, leaning back with his hands behind him, enjoying the relaxing sight. He was so engrossed in this quiet pleasantry that he wasn't able to notice the person behind him.
"Having fun?" The voice made him jump. Arthur looked up to see another of Kiku's siblings smiling down at him.
"Yong Soo…" he muttered the Korean's guy name.
"I'm glad that you came, da-ze. Did you have a fight with Yao Hyung just now? You should be glad that Kiku defended you, you know. He even fought with Yao Hyung last night because of you, da-ze…" Yong Soo rambled unwittingly, unable to notice the change in Arthur's face. The Englishman was blushing a bit, knowing that Kiku had been defending him from his beloved brother. It sounded a bit more special than it should have been.
"Are you listening to me, da-ze?" Yong Soo suddenly asked in slight vexation when he saw Arthur not paying attention.
"Aah sorry. I'm just… thinking about something." Arthur smiled sheepishly and scratched his cheek with a finger. Yong Soo stared at him blankly for a while, before adopting a teasing grin.
"You know, Kiku will say yes to everything you say or ask, da-ze," Yong Soo chirruped complacently. Arthur stared at him wide eyes.
"W-What are you talking about? I don't have any feelings for him, or anyt—" Arthur's face blushed even further at Yong Soo's almost conspiratorial grin.
"But I didn't say anything about your feelings. You are in love with my brother!" The Korean boy teased, giggling.
"I'm not!" Arthur quickly denied the statement; his face resembled a tomato now. Yong Soo, in the meantime, continued to be amused. Arthur's red face was particularly funny.
"Be honest with yourself, Arthur. You are a gentleman, aren't you?" Yong Soo sang out. Arthur hissed at him and looked away.
"You sounded like Francis, just now," he muttered, turning away and facing the backyard again. Yong Soo sighed at him.
The door opened not long after that, and Kiku walked in with a tray laden with a teapot and cups. He set the tea things on the table, and told Arthur to have a drink. He let Yong Soo wander about as he pleased around the room, talking pleasantly with both of them. After a few hours, Kiku realized he already had to change clothes since it was almost time to pick up his brother. Once he had finished, Arthur decided it was about time for him to leave, only to be halted by Kiku.
"We are going to the airport to fetch Hong, wont you come with us?" Kiku asked of him, much to Yao's horror. Arthur shook his head and rejected politely.
"No thank you, I'm not sure I could; I still have to go and finish my assignment for Monday." I don't think the atmosphere will be good if I come, not when his brother keeps sending me death glares every time he sees me.
"Alright then… I'll see you on Monday," Kiku said as he waved to him from the gate of their house. Arthur nodded.
"Okay… see you…" Arthur managed a small wave back before walking away. Kiku watched him until he disappeared from sight, before turning around and almost bumping into Yao behind him.
"Yao-san… what are you—"
"I don't like him at all, aru. He was so impolite towards me, your own brother! Weren't you able to realize that, Kiku?" Kiku seemed to contemplate for a bit, before smiling cutely.
"You just don't want to let me go, don't you? You are just jealous, Yao-nii…" Kiku said.
Yao's face into a shameful look. Kiku's words were right on the target. It didn't help that he used that title to call him either. "Whatever you say, aru. I still don't like him. Come on, it's about time we headed for the airport, aru," Yao said, tugging Kiku towards their car.
"Hong! I've missed you, aru!" Yao gave him a bear hug as the boy gave a small smile. His expression didn't change much as he stared at the rest of his siblings.
"I'm glad that you are all healthy," Hong said after Yao let go of him. The siblings chit-chatted happily. Hong had been staying in England to study, but had decided to have a homestay in Japan. He was fluent in English and was a very quiet person. His looks resembled Kiku, except for the thicker set of eyebrows.
"How long will you stay here for, aru?" Yao asked as he helped Hong with his luggage. He slammed the trunk shut and got in the driver's seat, while Hong sat behind.
"Just for a few months, I'm not sure. I decided to take a break, actually."
"I thought you came here to study, aru?" Yao twisted in his seat to look at him as Hong closed the door. Yong Soo was sitting next to him while Kiku had yet to be there, saying he was going to the bookstore. It was about time his monthly manga magazine was released, so an excited Kiku bade them to wait for him in the car while he checked.
"It's just an excuse, Gege**…" Hong replied after a while.
"Is… is that so, aru?" Yao sweated dropped at his unreadable expression.
"I've never had any intention of continuing to live in England since father passed away. It's not like I don't like it there… but with all of my siblings here… I just… felt left out…" Yao and Yong Soo looked at each other in silent communication.
"Won't you consider coming back home and start living with us instead, aru?" Yao gave him a warm smile. Hong blinked at the words.
"Of course, da-ze. We'll be staying in the same house again, just like when we were little." Yong Soo grinned at him as Yao agreed.
"Yes, aru… but first you should take care of other matters concerned if you're serious about moving with us. Make sure you also talk to your mother about it," Hong lectured, although his lips were curved into a small smile.
"I will take care of it, don't worry," Hong agreed. The other two beamed at him.
"Excuse me, I would like to pay for this magazine." Kiku handed the magazine, still neatly wrapped in its translucent plastic, to the cashier. He hummed happily while pulling out some money for it. After paying, he made to leave only to bump into someone. Kiku winced and stepped back.
"I'm sorry," he apologized, voice muffled as he rubbed his nose.
"No, I'm sorry."
Kiku stopped when he recognized the voice. He looked up only to see a tall Russian man already walking away.
'Ivan Braginski?' Kiku looked at him in shock. If Ivan was here, then that meant…
He saw it. The bespectacled American who was excitedly pushing a cart of luggage.
Alfred F. Jones
Kiku continued to stare, and was luckily not caught doing it. Quickly he ran away in the other direction, back to their car.
'What are they doing here? Why are they back? Just when Arthur-san had… gotten over it…'
*Hyung Nim – 'big brother' in Korean
**Gege – 'big brother' in Chinese