Osamu was the oldest. That was the usual excuse, anyway.
I’m your little brother!
Don’t you want to take care of me.
He’s pretty sure, though, that if it had been Atsumu who came wailing into the world a few minutes ahead, it would all be inverted, and the same in the end.
I’ll try it first, then you can have some.
I’m your big brother!
He’s never minded, not really, in more than the most superficial ways, but sometimes it’s a matter of self-preservation to pretend that he does. Otherwise he’d never keep anything for himself. And there are certain things you need even if you tell yourself you don’t.
Atsumu’s always been the real needy one, though. So it’s fine.
“I’m going to tell him,” Shinsuke says, not opening his eyes. “When he gets back.”
The air-conditioning in Osamu’s apartment near their university doesn’t do much but make noise. At one-something a.m., all of Shinsuke’s bare skin is lit static-blue by the TV that’s stopped streaming because neither of them have bothered to let it know they’re still here.
Shinsuke pushes himself up on one elbow, looking like instead of Osamu there’s a fucking alien beside him on the futon. It seems a bit excessive.
“I mean,” Osamu continues, prickling with what he always feels when having to explain something to someone, not having it just understood without the tedium of assembling words, “he probably knows. So you don’t need to make the effort.”
Shinsuke’s dark eyes narrow as he takes this in. “Did he say—”
It’s just, how could Atsumu not know his boyfriend’s been messing around with his brother back here while he’s been away at school. Shinsuke thinking this is even a question makes Osamu feel uneasy.
“I just don’t want it to be weird,” Shinsuke says.
It’s fine, Osamu doesn’t want to have to say. I never expected different. You never promised anything.
“You could just fuck both of us,” is what he says.
Shinsuke’s not a bad guy.
It’s not cheating if it’s just Osamu.
“That’s not funny,” Shinsuke says, in a serious former-captain sort of tone.
Osamu holds in a laugh. He thinks it is funny—his brother would definitely think it’s funny—but clearly his brother’s boyfriend does not, so instead he just drags Shinsuke back on top of him, and doesn’t say anything else for a while.
The thing is, Osamu really doesn’t get what Shinsuke’s problem is. What’s Osamu’s is Atsumu’s is Osamu’s is Atsumu’s—and on and on.
It was strange at first, sure. He had to get his bearings. The other way around is how it usually goes. Osamu’s never taken something from his brother and he never expected this to be any different.
He’s never needed things to be his. It’s fine.
>> Are you coming with me to the airport tomorrow
Won’t that be weird <<
It’s late, but of course Shinsuke answers right away. He always seems to keep the same stupid hours Osamu does.
>> You don’t need to make sure he knows his brother’s been fucking his boyfriend literally the second he gets home
I’m not his boyfriend, asshole <<
Osamu doesn’t get genuinely angry often. But he’s been feeling off all day for some reason and the something that spikes through him as he rereads the message is hard to pin down. He doesn’t understand why Shinsuke is being so obtuse about this whole thing. But—fuck it. Texting is easier than talking.
>> You know I’m not stupid right
>> You know I hear you tell people you’re with someone right
>> You got another secret lover besides me?
Osamu taps out the final message so hard, he has to laugh at himself. Like Shinsuke can feel the pressure of his thumbs from here and take some meaning from it. Waiting for a reply is fucking terrible. But Atsumu’s flight gets in too early and Osamu’s too tired for this right now.
His phone doesn’t ping again for so long that he jerks awake at the sound of it, disoriented and annoyed and squinting against the sudden flare of blue light in his room.
Are you sure about that “not stupid” part <<
At four-something a.m., the train station is adrift in shadows and ghosts. Cracked old fixtures overhead flicker and compete with the barely breaking sun, neither providing much useful light in the end.
It’s nothing like the last time Osamu was here. Much colder then, instead of this looming humidity. Everything in technicolor that’s now bleached out. The platform uncomfortably crowded. Atsumu about to be there instead of here, for the first time in their life, and Osamu not yet knowing how he felt about that.
He’s so busy staring at a spider dangling from the “Airport” sign, he doesn’t notice Shinsuke until the guy’s gotten close enough to punch him in the arm.
“That was a shitty confession,” Osamu says, maybe to the spider.
“You’re supposed to say something like, ‘You came.’”
Osamu glances down at Shinsuke beside him, then looks back out over the quiet train tracks. “If you want someone who’ll state the obvious for you, his plane should be landing soon.”
It’s also a shitty confession, but he figures it’s as much as Shinsuke deserves, so he leaves it hanging there in the hazy air.
Shinsuke just snorts, then shoves his shoulder into Osamu’s. “Nah, I’m good.”
Osamu’s not sure what his brother will have to say about all this. That’s unsettling even on its own.
What he is sure of is that Atsumu will have a lot of things to say, and maybe some of them will even be true. He hopes one will be It’s fine. Osamu’s never been the needy one, but it seems he does want to keep something for himself now and then.