The expression Yuuta currently wore was chiseled out of a resentment so intense it made Shuusuke bitter; not because he knew he hadn't done anything to warrant it, but because he hadn't yet had the chance to do anything to warrant it.

Or maybe, he thought, avoiding Yuuta's gaze, he had his chances every day. A shift to the right or the left, a step closer, and the world turned end over end. Lately Yuuta had been everywhere, and Shuusuke felt his serves were getting harder to counter.

He felt Yuuta tense behind him as he turned away, and remembered that there were things he hated about himself, like the way he knew without looking how the vein on Yuuta's left temple throbbed against his cheek; how his fists were clenched; how the first two buttons on his shirt were still standing open at his neck, the way they had been open for the last quarter of an hour, which Shuusuke had spent trying not to trace Yuuta's collarbone.

The next time, he thought, maybe I'll just do it. I'll do it, then, Yuuta, and see how quickly your resentment fades with my hands on your body.

He already knew how it would be. Because Yuuta loved him. Yuuta hated him, but Yuuta loved him, and some things were too easy. Yuuta was growing up, and soon he would stop wanting Shuusuke to protect him.

"Hey," Yuuta said angrily behind him. "You can't just walk away--I'm not through with you yet!"

Shuusuke allowed himself a light laugh.

"Then I'm lucky, little brother," he said, and kept walking.

Yuuta was catching up fast.

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