'Kyouya remembers people by their smell and touch.' In which Kyouya reflects on his fellow club members, and how he recognises each of them.
Kyouya remembers people by their smell and touch.
His father smelled of cedar wood, and his touches were like old bark, rough and gentle at the same time. Kyouya remembers his father's expectations and hopes for him whenever he sees a cedar tree, and smiles to himself as he vows, again, to surpass them.
Kyouya doesn't remember his mother, for they told him she died two years after he was born. Mostly, he remembers the smell of sweet milk and soft touches like cotton balls. He thinks that he can remember her if he tries hard enough, and is always disappointed with himself when he /can't/.
Kyouya's brothers are distant figures in his memories, twin willow trees bending away from the river that is him. The only thing he remembers is their touches, like willow leaves across skin, fleeting and stinging his skin. Kyouya doesn't remember his brothers much, but he knows perfectly well that he must surpass them to be heir.
Fuyumi-oneesama smells of sugary-sweet snacks and, underneath that, the smell of smoke. Her touches are like freshly baked bread, hot and soft at the same time. Whenever he sees her, Kyouya remembers very vaguely of when he was a child and the parts of the mansion had gone up in fire. He remembers a larger hand gripping his as they ran. Mostly, he remembers the smell of smoke and /fear/.
It isn't Fuyumi's fault that Kyouya doesn't like getting close to her.
Honey-senpai smells rather like his sister, of sugar-sweet confectionaries, but without the underlying scent of smoke. Honey-senpai smells of overly-sweet cakes and sweets that are full of sugar and cream.
His touches, which are rare, for Kyouya doesn't like touching and Honey-senpai knows that, are almost like lies, as Kyouya can feel hard muscles beneath the baby-soft skin. Whenever he sees Honey-senpai, Kyouya realizes once more that this is someone he shouldn't underestimate, shouldn't ignore, for the Haninozuka heir's appearance is deceptive, and Honey-senpai hates it when people look down on him.
Mori-senpai smells of a forest after rain, fresh and clean. His touches remind Kyouya of marshmallows, especially those toasted over a campfire made of wood from a forest. Mori-senpai is the complete opposite of Honey-senpai, but Kyouya knows better than to ignore him, for Mori-senpai's best trait is his observational skills.
Whenever Kyouya sees him, he's vaguely reminded the articles he had read, once, for a school project, of the Amazon Rainforest and how it's slowly disappearing. There aren't many men like Mori-senpai in this era, after all.
Hikaru and Kaoru smell of different things, even though the first scent is always the same. They smell of their father's cologne, fresh and understated. However, breathe in deeper and he discovers that Hikaru's real scent is lemongrass, sharp and an acquired taste, while Kaoru smells of cinnamon, spicy and pleasant at first taste. Kyouya doesn't like touching the twins, but he remembers their touches anyway.
Their touches are silk, the very material that their mother handles daily, soft and slippery, but with a surprisingly resilient grip. When he sees them, Kyouya remembers once, when he was watching the servants cook dinner, cracking an egg and finding two egg yolks instead of one. He remembers thinking that although the two yolks look identical at first glance, they're really quite different.
That is how Kyouya knows how to differentiate between them, although he learns more ways to in time. Haruhi isn't the first to know how to tell them apart, she is simply the first to tell them so.
Haruhi smells of everything and nothing. Haruhi smells of all the Host Club's scents, especially the twins and Tamaki, but she smells of nothing. Even during the beach incident, Kyouya could smell nothing of her except the faint, almost unnoticeable smell of vomit. It puzzles him greatly, for he has gotten used to identifying and classifying people by their smells. Without a unique scent, Haruhi is like an unsolved jigsaw puzzle with the most crucial piece missing.
Haruhi's touches are like wool, soft and slightly itchy, but warm. She doesn't touch him often, and he likes it perfectly well that way. Her touches are invading, getting under his skin even through layers of cloth. Kyouya doesn't like it, for it's almost like Haruhi is trying to solve the deliberately-constructed puzzle that he was. Whenever he sees her, Kyouya is reminded of a puzzle he can't solve and a hazy sense of excitement due to being faced with a challenge.
However he tries, Kyouya is unable to label exactly what Tamaki's scent is. Tamaki smells of a jumble of different scents, but Tamaki manages to make the mixture of smells pleasant and intoxicating and purely /him/. If he is feeling poetic or slightly silly, Kyouya tries to pinpoint the scent, and the best he manages is 'sunlight on water', which is utterly /ridiculous/.
Tamaki's touches are inexplicable as well. Kyouya thinks that it's like a patchwork of silk and satin, strong and weak at the same time, with a coolness that resembles ice water in a desert. Whenever he sees him, memories rush at him like a waterfall. He remembers every meeting, every word exchanged, every smile and every laugh. Kyouya thinks it's ridiculous that he remembers so much, but he can't help but store every single memory he has of the other boy in a special shelf in his mind labeled 'Tamaki'.
Kyouya, to himself, smells of nothing.