title: Double Helix
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: Atsushi/Ryou, Saeki, Mizuki
rating: Teen
warnings: twincest
summary: Atsushi chases Ryou.
notes: inspired by those sexy twins on oob. god, how i love them... and let's assume the series takes place while they are in high school.

He remembered dancing with his twin when they were young. Ryou would feel like dancing when there was no music around at all, and he would take Atsushi by the wrists and led him through the dance. Atsushi followed wherever Ryou led, chasing after the trails of Ryou's long hair.

He followed Ryou on the playground, always a half step behind him, ready to use his brother as a shield if someone wanted to talk to him. Ryou always made up the best games, and they would play together until sunset, trampling home, their hands and feet dirty, so their mother would immediately chase them off to the bathroom to wash up. They would stand on the step stool together, their four hands under the water together. When they were done, but before their hands were dry, Ryou would push Atsushi's hair behind his ears.

He followed Ryou around school. They didn't often play games on people, mostly because it didn't matter. They were always together, regardless. They whispered to each other in class, and made up secret languages to speak to each other in. They had other friends, but no one could intrude upon their personal space.

He followed Ryou onto the tennis courts. They would always play each other, just volleying back and forth for long stretches of time. It was just fun. Everyone knew of the courts at Rokkaku, and the playground. They played there a lot, but it was a bit further away, so they could only go when they had lots of time.

They knew of Saeki, and the others. They were used to being teased about being twins. But Ryou was proud, and he hated to be treated like he wasn't an individual. So when Saeki suggested they play doubles against him and his friend, Ryou challenged him to singles.

Atsushi stood on the sidelines, and watched them play.

He wasn't sure why it was true. They were twins, after all, so they should be identical. Maybe it was the way that Ryou challenged himself against others. Every day from that first game with Saeki, Atsushi felt his brother slipping away from him.

Their parents tried to put them in different rooms when they entered high school. It was no longer 'appropriate' for them to be sharing a bedroom. Their father said that with a stern, somewhat disgusted look on his face. Ryou cried, actually threw himself onto the ground and bawled and nearly threw a tantrum, and so Atsushi pleaded with his parents, promising that they would be good if they could just stay together.

Perhaps he should have moved to the other room. It might have saved him moving to Tokyo. He understood what his parents meant about 'appropriate.' It wasn't appropriate for him and Ryou to share a bed, though his parents didn't know they still did that. It definitely wasn't appropriate to share a bath, even if it did make things easier. Ryou was sure there was nothing wrong with touching each other, and Atsushi didn't want to complain, but it was probably wrong. Kissing his brother was undeniably wrong, he knew this, in his head, but his heart and his body disagreed, and Ryou disagreed, and Atsushi never argued with Ryou.

Ryou would flirt with Saeki at tennis practice, and Atsushi would watch, his heart breaking. He knew he couldn't keep Ryou forever. Knowing that didn't keep him from wanting it. Each day, his brother got better and better, and Atsushi was racing to keep up.

At night, when the house was quiet, Ryou still wanted to dance sometimes, but it was rarer, and sometimes, when he was holding Ryou in his arms, he imagined Ryou being held by someone else, and he would close his arms around Ryou until their bodies were pressed tightly together, and they fit so perfectly, it wasn't long before they were on the bed, and Ryou's lips were pressed to Atsushi's neck, and Ryou's hands were inside Atsushi's pajama pants, and all Atsushi could do was cling to Ryou's hair as it slipped through his fingers.

He missed holding Ryou in his arms, but his parents weren't that dense. They would see the marks on his neck in the morning that weren't there the night before, and they would know. They would question how the sheets got so messy. They would find out.

Running away wasn't honorable, but it was the right thing to do. And maybe Saeki would comfort Ryou... but Atsushi preferred to think of his brother alone.

There were advantages, too. He liked Tokyo. He liked not having his parents hanging over his shoulder. He liked being a star on his team, even if Mizuki-san was keeping him at doubles. It was good, actually, because he found that he liked doubles. It would have been nice to play doubles with Ryou.

There were nights, though... Nights where he could hear music that wasn't playing, and he longed to feel Ryou's hair falling through his fingers. He didn't even have his own long hair to remember Ryou by, just the phantom feeling of Ryou in his arms.

A knock on the door brought him out of his reverie. The door started to open before he could get up, so he knew who it was.

"Evening, Mizuki-san. Can I do something for you?"

Mizuki waved his hand dismissively, carefully closing the door behind him. "Don't get up, don't get up, Atsushi-kun. Just came by because I forgot to tell you... your brother called while you were downtown."

Atsushi sat up on his elbows and sighed. He would have preferred to hear Ryou's voice rather than watch Yanagisawa drool over girls. "Ah, thank you, Mizuki-san. Did he have a message?"

Mizuki smiled, a rather sinister but pretty grin. "Oh, he said lots of things... this and that... really, it's hard to believe that the two of you are twins. He's not like you at all, is he?"

Atsushi blushed, and looked away. "No... I suppose he's not."

Mizuki's fingers brushed over Atsushi's neck. "Mm, looks like you can go back to wearing your collar down, 'Tsushi-kun."

Atsushi bucked back, but Mizuki just leaned in closer. "Wha-what do you mean, Mizuki-san?"

"I think you showed your twin quite a good time when he came to visit, 'Tsushi-kun. You are such a good brother." Mizuki smirked. "I would have liked to see more of you and your brother, but I suppose it wasn't meant to be." He winked at Atsushi.

Atsushi's cheeks flamed bright red, and he shook his head uselessly.

Mizuki leaned in and kissed Atsushi quickly on the lips. "Make sure you give Ryou my love, 'Tsushi-kun, when you call him. Night!"

Atsushi slipped deeper into bed, and closed his eyes, working very hard to pretend that didn't just happen, and that he was still home with Ryou.