title: Two Steps Back
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: one-sided (??) Atsushi/Saeki, implied Ryou/Saeki
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Atsushi watches Saeki and Ryou together.
notes: for crunchy salad, for this request on fic on demand.

Nothing changed. Bane still hit David whenever he made a stupid pun. Kentarou still got too stupidly excited about unimportant things. Itsuki still obsessed over small details.

It was like he had never left.

Saeki still dyed his hair, and wore clothes that showed off his body. He still treated everyone the same, like they were all close friends of his. He still flirted like a demon, turning his charm on to maximum.

Only now, the person he leveled his charm on was Ryou.

Atsushi's brother.

His twin.

He walked behind them, licking his ice cream, watching them together. Saeki touched Ryou's hair, and whispered something in his ear. They acted as if they had gone out alone. Atsushi was invisible. Ryou acted indifferent, indignant, even, at times, but he didn't move away from Saeki, didn't stop to let Atsushi catch up.

They weren't like this before.

Atsushi never remembered Ryou saying anything about Saeki. Atsushi had always kept his feelings for their friend locked up tight, afraid of what Ryou would think if he knew.

He should have said something.

Then maybe Ryou wouldn't be letting Saeki touch his hair now.

Atsushi stepped forward, and in between them. Ryou immediately made room for him, but Saeki looked at him oddly. He began to talk about something inconsequential, and they began to converse, the three of them. He felt less empty, less cold, when his twin was still by his side.

But when they got to their front porch, Ryou hung back, and he and Saeki brushed their fingers together. Atsushi watched his brother, and wished like hell Mizuki hadn't cut his hair.

He and Ryou would have a long talk tonight.