Disclaimer: Don't own it.
Warnings: Umm… if you have a problem with yaoi or incest, I would exit through that door!
Non-Related Warning: If this story is depressing, blame the fact I've been listening to Evanescence as I write it.
All of my memories
keep you near
In silent moments
Imagine you'd be here.
All of my memories keep you near,
Your silent whispers, silent tears
Together in all
I see your smile
All of the memories I hold dear
Darling, you know I'll love you
till the end of time
"Echizen-san." Ryoga laid his hand on the table, uncurling his fist and letting the imprisoned orange roll off his palm and onto the table before him. Rinko turned and flashed Ryoga a troubled look.
"I told you to call me Okaa-san. You're part of the family now." Sighed the woman as she resumed her cooking. "What is it? Ryoga?"
Silence came from behind her, and Rinko turned to see Ryoga delicately stabbing a pattern into the orange peel with his fingernails, a worry-line creasing the place between his eyebrows ever so slightly. "Ryoga? What's wrong?"
"I think… something's wrong with me." Ryoga pushed too hard on the orange peel, causing the whole peel to split, ruining the design he had been carving into it. With a frustrated sigh he shoved the fruit away and turned to face Rinko. The woman hurriedly wiped her hands on a towel and rushed over to Ryoga, encircling him in her arms.
"There's nothing wrong with you! You're a beautiful growing boy!" She squeezed him slightly, her hair tickling his cheek. Her kindness threw him into a deep hole of self-hate.
"I'm in love with someone." Ryoga's eyes refused to leave the tabletop as Rinko smoothed down his messy hair with a loving hand. At his words she smiled.
"That's nothing bad! Who is it?" Once again, silence met Rinko's words. The slight tapping sound of Ryoga's heel bouncing against the chair leg was the only answer to her question. "Ryoga? Who is it?"
Slowly, the boy reached over and pulled the discarded orange into his hand, flipping it over to the side he had been carving in with his nails. He covered it with his other hand, then brought it up into her line of vision, slowly removing his grip on the orange and dropping it into her cupped palms.
She flipped it over the smile on her lips freezing, slowly melting into a horrified gasp.
Carved in the orange peel was the name Echizen Ryoma, but right through the middle of his name was a large crack in the peel.
The fruit dropped to the ground, bouncing on impact then slowly rolling away.
Rinko slowly backed away from Ryoga, her eyes shadowed. Without another word she left the kitchen, not noticing as she stepped on the discarded orange. The door slid closed slowly behind her, leaving Ryoga in his cloud of self-hate.
That night at dinner, Rinko smiled and laughed along with everyone, but Ryoga couldn't help but notice that her eyes never once landed on him.
"Aniki! I'm going to beat you today!" Ryoma snarled, his hat flipping around as the boy bounced in his seat. The now familiar prickly warmth filled Ryoga's chest as he watched his little brother, the overpowering feeling of protectiveness and longing.
Dinner crawled along slowly, but as soon as it ended Ryoma seized Ryoga's hand and dragged him out to the tennis court beside the orange trees.
"Play seriously, Aniki!" Ryoma demanded, pulling his oversized hat down over his eyes and raising his racket.
A few minutes later Ryoga caught the ball from the air, lowering his racket to his shoulder, a smug smirk on his lips. Ryoma had managed to score two points from him.
"You've become good, Chibisuke." He called over the tennis court.
Ryoma's surprised face fell into a smile. "Really?" He cried happily.
"Yep." Laughed Ryoga as he watched proud fill those large golden eyes. Strutting over to his brother, Ryoga snatched the hat off Ryoma's head, ruffling the boy's hair. Ryoma was so warm from playing, his heat radiated off his body and slid over Ryoga, making the older boy want to hold him and soak up the heat. Let it envelope him.
Late that night Ryoga rose from bed and threw open the closet door, roughly throwing things aside before he pulled out a large bag. Tossing it onto the bed and flipping it open he stalked over to his dresser.
He shouldn't have told Rinko, this feeling was sure to go away now he couldn't stay here. Couldn't face the family. He was dirty compared to their innocence. How could he have fallen in love with his brother, it just wasn't right. This family had taken him in, and this was how he repaid them? Marring the perfect family picture. It would be best if he just disappeared.
"Aniki?" A quiet voice questioned. Ryoga whipped around, revealing his little brother standing in the doorway. "What are you doing? Are you leaving?"
"Yes." Was the curt reply. Those beautiful golden eyes widened, a soft bottom lip quivering.
"Why!?" Cried the boy, flinging himself into the room, tiny hands hooking onto Ryoga's shirt. Crystal tears slid down his beautiful cheeks. Ryoga's traitorous hand slowly reached up, whipping away a tear with a gentle thumb.
"You guys are way better off without me." He laughed, trying to make light of the matter. But Ryoma shook his head.
"You can't leave Aniki!" Skinny arms held onto Ryoga for dear life, Ryoma buried his nose in his older brother's shirt; their bodies were so close together Ryoga could lose himself in the warmth radiating from his brother. Abruptly he shoved his brother away.
"Don't be stupid, of course I can leave." He snapped. It's coming now… this feeling. It's getting stronger. Coming closer. If I don't get out now it will devour me. A wrenching pain erupted in his chest, the irresistible want to hold Ryoma, to kiss him, to own him.
Ryoga shut the bag that bulged with his clothes and swung it over his shoulder, starting for the window. But tiny fingers caught his sleeve, holding him back. Teeth bared, Ryoga tried to yank his sleeve from Ryoma, but the boy wouldn't relent his grip.
"Why do you want to leave me, Aniki!?" Those words stopped him. Slowly, Ryoga pulled Ryoma to his feet.
"You wouldn't understand." He whispered, gripping Ryoma's fingers which still held tight to his sleeve. He peeled them off of his sleeve and lifted them to his lips, tenderly pressing his lips to his knuckles. Once again, he started for the window.
"Try me!" Ryoma commanded, hands curled into fists at his sides. Ryoga looked over his shoulder at his brother, who's eyes were hidden by the brim of his cap.
"Try me! I know I'll understand!" Ryoga threw down his bag and practically ran at Ryoma; upon collision he swept the smaller boy into his arms crushing their lips together in a breath-taking kiss. His younger brother fell limp in his arms as they fell to the ground. Somehow, tiny hands entangled themselves in his hair as Ryoma deepened the kiss with a hunger matched to Ryoga's own.
Ryoga pushed himself off the ground, breaking the kiss; breaking the spell. This was reality, it wasn't one of his dreams, he just kissed his brother. Ryoma whimpered as Ryoga picked up his bag and slung it over his shoulder.
"Aniki!" Ryoma's breathless call was strangled, choking through tears as they ran down his face. Ryoga stopped right before the window, bowing his head.
"Forget it." He growled before climbing out the window and disappearing into the night. Even he didn't know if his words were meant for Ryoma or himself.