title: A Kiss to Build a Dream On
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: Atsushi, Ryou
rating: G
warnings: twincest-ish
summary: Ryou goes to visit his twin.
notes: *stares at title and summary* seriously, i should win a prize or something for stunning lack of creativity... *mutters* ah-hem! this is for Bryan, for fic on demand. ^_~ and a very nice demand it is..

His room didn't normally seem so small, but Ryou had a way of filling up a space. In Atsushi's eyes, Ryou was always in the center of everything. They were identical twins, of course, but there was something special about his older twin that Atsushi could never quite figure out, but he could never get tired of, either.

It was the first time they'd actually been alone all day. A few of his friends had insisted on going with him to the station to pick Ryou up, and then they'd all gone out to eat and to fool around at the arcade. When they did get to school, Ryou met Mizuki, and suddenly they were out on the tennis courts. Atsushi had watched as his brother and his team manager had, essentially, fought over him on the tennis court.

Of course Ryou won.

Mizuki sniffed with disdain and said that he'd enjoyed collecting Ryou's data, but Atsushi knew. Ryou would never let anyone beat him with his brother on the line.

"You're being quiet."

Ryou was sitting on his bed, pouting. Atsushi smiled immediately, and he sat down at his desk, opposite Ryou. "Sorry. Have you had fun?"

Ryou tilted his head to the side, his expression bordering on forlorn. "I can't get used to seeing you with short hair... It's just not right." Ryou sighed, and reached out, just covering the distance enough to brush his fingertips over the fringes of Atsushi's bangs.

Atsushi couldn't help the grin that spread across his face. It felt so good to be here with his twin again, to be so close to Ryou and have Ryou all to himself, no parents anywhere near, no distractions... "I'm having a hard time getting used to seeing you with long hair. I'd gotten used to the short hair."

For a second, Ryou looked unbearably sad, and Atsushi felt his heart crack. "You should never have let that bastard do this to you. We don't look alike anymore..."

"Hey," Atsushi spoke softly, "it's not the end of the world. We were getting too old for playing games on people anyway."

Ryou reached out to grab the trailing end of Atsushi's headband, fingering the red silk. "He took you away from me, Atsushi."

"No one could ever do that, Ryou," Atsushi murmured, and he was rewarded with a beaming smile from Ryou.

It was supposed to have gotten easier, he thought. Time apart, time with other friends, it was supposed to have made it easier. Because he wasn't supposed to feel so hot under his skin at his twin's touch. He stood up and sat down on the bed next to Ryou, putting his arms around his twin, and ran his fingers through Ryou's meticulously-cared-for hair.

Ryou loved his hair, and he spent hours a day working on it. He used to spend hours a day working on Atsushi's hair, too. Hours as Ryou coated his fingers with oil, and then massaged Atsushi's scalp and hair. Hours brushing it with the special comb. Hours patting it dry with the special towel. Hours running his fingers through it, from his crown to the tips, and then sitting back and smiling.

Atsushi couldn't tell Ryou that he was almost glad that Mizuki had cut off his hair, because then every time he looked in the mirror, he didn't see his twin, and every time he washed his hair, he didn't feel his twin's fingers.

Atsushi put his head down on Ryou's shoulder, and he smiled as Ryou put his arms around Atsushi. He didn't say anything, because he could never know for sure how Ryou felt. Ryou was always more affectionate, so maybe his hugs were just hugs, but Atsushi wanted them to be more, and it hadn't gotten any easier at all; in fact, it had gotten worse, because he'd been longing for this for every second they had been apart.

He couldn't be silent now, because there was too much he wanted to say. "Tell me, Ryou..."

"Mm?" Ryou murmured against his skin.

Atsushi closed his eyes, and swallowed his shiver. "Tell me... everything..."

"Mm..." Ryou sighed, shifting slightly so they could hold each other more comfortably. "There is something I wanted to tell you. Something... I've been meaning to tell you for a long time, now, but I wasn't sure how to say it."

Atsushi's heart skipped a beat, and he tightened his grip on Ryou. Was it possible...? They were twins, so it wasn't unthinkable that they would be on the same wavelength...

"I couldn't tell you over the phone, though, or in an email or whatever. It just wouldn't have been right... This is right." Ryou didn't sound uncomfortable with what he was saying. In fact, he sounded rather pleased with himself.

But of course he would be. Ryou was always the more confident one. The older twin, the bolder one. Ryou would take care of them, Atsushi knew, he would make it all right.

"It's just kind of weird, because it all took me by surprise when you left. I had no idea I even had these feelings, or anything. I mean, I never thought about these things, but... It's just the most natural thing in the world to me now." Ryou was smiling, and moving his hand over Atsushi's back.

It was the most natural thing in the world, after all. There was nothing wrong with it. They were inside each other's souls. Why was it such a strange thing, then, for them to love each other completely? Atsushi had been a coward to run away, but somehow, he knew that his brother would chase after him.

Ryou lifted his head to look into his brother's eyes, the smile spread across his face so gentle and pure. "We've only been together for a few weeks now, but... I don't know. He's special, Atsushi. He was really good to me when you first left and I... I wasn't handling it well. I think I might be in love with him."

Atsushi felt cold and numb. He wanted to believe he was missing something. "With... who?"

"Saeki." Ryou blushed, and his cheeks looked so sweet and adorable pinked like that. "Don't tease me, ok, I know, he's a boy, and I've always admired him... but... he's really sweet. He's... gentle, and kind. And he's so mature. He just... gets stuff, you know? We haven't, you know, we haven't done anything, but... I dunno, I think we're getting there."

Ryou was all flushed now, and he was clinging to Atsushi. There was a slight fear in his eyes as he searched out his twin's reaction, but there was this whole aura of peace and happiness that imbibed him as he spoke of Saeki.


Sexy Saeki, as the girls at Rokkaku called him. Saeki was talented and brash. And not Ryou's blood.

Atsushi smiled. "You're really happy, aren't you?"

Ryou blushed, ducking his face under his shoulder. "Yeah... You aren't mad, are you?"

"Mad?" Atsushi blinked. "Why would I be mad?"

"Because..." Ryou trailed off. "I didn't tell you anything... And, you know, it's kinda major..."

Ryou looked embarrassed and afraid. Atsushi just grinned. "Not mad. I'm happy for you."

"Is there anyone here you are interested in?" Ryou looked excited, and he gripped Atsushi's hands tightly. "And I swear to all the gods, if you say Mizuki, I'm going to rip that bastard's head right off..." Ryou winked at him.

Atsushi shook his head slowly. "Nope, no one at school I'm interested in."

There must have been something in his tone of voice, because Ryou was about to ask him something, and then Yanagisawa knocked on his door. "Dinner's read, dane!"

Ryou jumped up. "Dinner! You said this place had good food, right?"

"Yeah..." Atsushi looked up at his twin sadly. Ryou was so beautiful, and so vibrant... and out of his reach.

"Well? Let's go! I'm hungry." Ryou smiled brightly, and started for the door.

Atsushi grabbed his hand as he got up, and pulled Ryou close to him. He put his hand on Ryou's face for just a second, and then, before his courage failed him, he kissed Ryou. At first, Ryou was stiff, and his lips didn't move at all, but then slowly, they parted just a little.

It was enough.

"You coming, dane?"

"Yeah, we're coming," Atsushi called out, leading Ryou to the door, still holding his hand. It almost hurt to let go of his twin's fingers, and he was afraid to turn around to see Ryou's face, but it was enough.

It had to be enough.