Someone to Watch Over You.
Seien combs Ryuuki's hair carefully, and he doesn't even have to tell Ryuuki to stay still. His brother doesn't complain when he pulls - even though he tries to be careful, and does his best to avoid this - and instead he hums softly, a tuneless melody that comes from no nursery they have never been told.
It's a slow job, but one he doesn't mind. Ryuuki's nurse does her job, yes, but only enough for her to be able to go away before one of the pranks of the older princes against the youngest will trap her as well, and Ryuuki's hair, abundant but extremely thin, tangles with even the smallest breeze, much more at the way the young prince gets pushed around at each turn.
But Seien likes this job and he doesn't mind having to be the one to make sure Ryuuki looks as the prince he is, as he feels Ryuuki slowly relax as he does this, at how the tension of his shoulders eases away, ever so slowly.
Ryuuki yawns, interrupting his humming. Seien stops combing his hair, instead leaning forward, so that he can peek at Ryuuki's face.
"Are you bored, Ryuuki?"
His brother shakes his head, but he rubs at his eye. Seien makes the mental note that he has to have Ryuuki wash his face soon, to wash away the dirt after their older brother had thrown him down, the tears that had come from having been told he was unwanted, unneeded. Perhaps if they hurried a little, he could take him to his room and rub some ointment over the swelling on his face that must have come from a slap...
"Sleepy, lord brother," Ryuuki says, and as if to prove it he lens back, his head against Seien's shoulder, his head already dropping.
Seien is sure that if he stays like that for more than five minutes, Ryuuki will fall asleep, completely secure on the knowledge that he will take care of him, and that this time he wouldn't wake up with someone pinching his nose or pulling his hair nor to someone pretending to be a ghost, just to have the little boy cry and scream. And he would love to give Ryuuki those five minutes, but he is already running late to his lessons. He'll have to skip his supper again, which he thinks is a worthy sacrifice if he got to see Ryuuki laugh and smile as he did.
"Can I sleep with you tonight, lord brother?" Ryuuki asks, turning around to face him, his eyes golden and sweet, his hand closing on his robe.
By his expression, Ryuuki is already expecting to hear 'no', probably guessing half of the reasons Seien will give him.
There is so little, Seien thinks, that he can give Ryuuki. For all that as a prince he lacks nothing, there is so very little he owns, so very little he can call his own to give away, and that what is most precious to him is not a thing for him to possess, which makes his little brother all the more precious. His time, yes, but it's not something, he thinks, he will account on this, because he needs Ryuuki as much as Ryuuki needs him, or perhaps more, even if his brother doesn't know this.
Seien caresses the feathery soft hair, wrapping his arms around Ryuuki's body, feeling how Ryuuki clings to his robe as if he was afraid he was going to disappear.
"I'm sorry, Ryuuki," he starts. Ryuuki doesn't even flinch, but there is a quiet sigh against his neck, and Seien can't stop himself, he adds: "But you can sleep now for a while, if you're tired. I'll make sure you don't have nightmares."
"Really?!" Ryuuki's eyes widen in delight, pulling away to look at him, not in doubt but in amazement. Ryuuki had been ready already for disappointment, and knowing that hurts Seien deep inside.
"Yes," Seien answers with a smile, closing his eyes as Ryuuki's arms wrap around his neck.
Ryuuki's smile is more than worthy the fact that he'll be scolded, that he'll probably have to stay awake the whole night to make up for this lost time, but this is something he can give Ryuuki and he will:
His brother being able to sleep, for once, safe in the knowledge that there was someone who would stop the monsters that would try and come for him.