Loveless, Never You Mind

Title: Never You Mind [Seimei/Ritsuka]
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for deeply questionable brother action.
AN: Written for the 2005 Sekrit Projekt, Track 11.

Open the blinds and the world is in rotation
Shaking my mind like an Etch-a-Sketch erasing
Sunshine, you were bad, I’m
Still mad but I can’t remember why

Track 11: Never You Mind

Ritsuka nestles closer to Seimei on the bed while he’s reading, then winces when he bumps his freshly bandaged wrist accidentally. Seimei’s smooth voice doesn’t pause until the end of the paragraph, then he takes a break to pick the small bunch of grapes up from beside him and tugs one off with his teeth.

“Are you even listening to the story?” he asks while he’s chewing.

“No,” Ritsuka admits freely, laying his head down on Seimei’s shoulder. The fabric smells of laundry soap and the deodorant Seimei favors, some foreign brand that tickles Ritsuka’s nose. “I don’t understand it anyway, except for the part where the girl got killed.”

“Hm.” Seimei strips another grape off.

“Can I have one?”

“No, you don’t like them,” Seimei answers, setting them back down. Ritsuka struggles to remember if he’s ever had a grape, then shrugs and lets it go. If Seimei says so, then it’s better just to agree and remember in case his mother offers him grapes later.

Seimei tenses under Ritsuka suddenly, his muscles going stiff under Ritsuka’s cheek, and he looks up to see Seimei staring at the window, ears flickering forward a bit as if to catch some far-off sound. He tosses the paperback aside and moves to get off the bed, but Ritsuka sits up and catches at his shirt in tightly clenched fists.

“Where are you going?” he asks.

“I have to go,” Seimei says firmly, reaching for Ritsuka’s wrists, although he is careful of the hurt one. Ritsuka shakes his hands off and throws a leg over Seimei to press his weight down into his brother’s lap.

“It’s him, isn’t it?” he asks, eyes narrowed.

“Him who?” Seimei asks coolly, but his eyes dart a little to the window and back.

“You know, him.” Ritsuka wants to be more specific but can’t. He may not be the real Ritsuka, but he isn’t stupid, and he’s caught enough bits of phone conversations and sleepy mumblings that he knows there is someone out there that Seimei goes to, leaving Ritsuka alone. “You’re going to him, aren’t you? Don’t lie!”

“Don’t be silly, Ritsuka.” Seimei puts hands on Ritsuka’s waist and pushes him firmly off onto the bed. He stands, keeping one hand on Ritsuka’s shoulder to make sure he stays down. “I just forgot I have to go out, is all.”

Don’t lie.” Ritsuka catches at the edge of Seimei’s shirt, the wool scratching his fingers. “I need you, Seimei! Stay!”

Seimei stops moving, staring down at Ritsuka impassively. Ritsuka flushes, angry at his own childishness, but he meets Seimei’s eyes and doesn’t let go.

“I don’t want you to go! Stay here with me! Seimei!”

Seimei looks over his shoulder at the window again, ears flickering, but then he turns to Ritsuka, turning his back on whatever he hears that Ritsuka can’t. Relief, heavy and hot, floods through Ritsuka, and he lunges off the bed to throw arms tightly around Seimei’s waist, burying his face in Seimei’s stomach.

“Stop it, it’s okay.” Seimei tugs Ritsuka away and turns him towards the door. “It’s bedtime anyway, go brush your teeth and stuff.”

Ritsuka hurries through the ritual of washing up and tugging on pajamas, afraid that if he takes too long, Seimei will be gone. It wouldn’t be the first time he slipped away after sending Ritsuka off on some errand.

Seimei is still there when Ritsuka returns, sprawled across his bed in a pair of worn pajama pants and with the book open again, and a smaller pulse of relief makes Ritsuka smile. He pushes the door shut and scurries across the floor to crawl into the bed and press against Seimei’s chest, the warm skin soft against his cheek.

“Oi, I’m right here.” Seimei’s voice is dry, but amused, and he pushes Ritsuka aside just enough to tug the blankets out and over them both. He makes no comment when Ritsuka snuggles right up against him again, only turns a page in his book and drops his hand into Ritsuka’s hair, rubbing his ear softly.

“Read to me,” Ritsuka asks idly, his eyes already starting to droop a bit. His hand is resting on Seimei’s stomach, rising and falling with Seimei’s breath. The skin under his palm is warm and he wishes that Seimei hadn’t made the stupid pajama rule, it’s more comfortable in the summer to snuggle together without like they used to, and one or the other of them usually is missing their pajamas when they wake up anyway.

“You don’t understand it,” Seimei points out, tweaking his ear a bit harder, and Ritsuka pinches his stomach in reply.

“I don’t care.”

Seimei shrugs a little and picks up where he’s been reading to himself rather than where he’d left off, and Ritsuka doesn’t care. Pressing closer, he lets Seimei’s voice soothe him into sleep, one leg tangling with Seimei’s.

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