Companion fic to to That's What Big Sisters Are For and That's Why Big Brothers Are There
That's What Big Brothers Are For
by Tenshi Forgotten
I know my little brother probably better than he knows himself. And that's why he comes to me when he's confused or needs help on something. He can always count on me being there for him and he knows it. I love it when he needs me. And when he says, "Thanks." I always reply, "That's what big brother's are here for, ya' know?"
I can still remember the day he came home from the hospital, barely 3 days old and dressed in these absolutely horrible looking red pajamas mom had bought for him. I remember that he looked like someone had stolen his favorite video game. I absolutely abhored him from the moment father walked in the door with him.
My parents figured I was jealous of the attention they had to pay to him and now that I'm older, I agree with them. I probably had been jealous, and mistranslated that into hate. It only lasted about 3 or 4 months anyway.
My father had conferences, and mom had to go out with grandma to a doll show they had bought tickets for months earlier than they had even known about the new family member. It had been the last thing on my list of things to do on a Saturday evening when my mother said, "Ryosuke, you'll be taking care of Ryou tonight so be nice, okay?"
She refused to skip the show, and I got stuck staring at the child I hated from across the couch. He wouldn't blink, I wouldn't blink. We both refused to lose at the contest we'd gotten ourselves into. But that was the first time since he'd come home that I'd actually taken the time to look at him without sneering or glaring. I was surprised to find that he was actually… cute.
Reminded me of one of the puppies my best friend, Kentarou, owned.
I ended up smiling at him. He seemed to enjoy surprising me, because that's what it was when he smiled back at me with this little half wit laugh. It filled my belly with a feeling of regret that I'd spent so much time hating him, when I could've been becoming best friends with him. Well, I had to make up for lost time then.
Every day I'd rush home and stick my face in his crib and make weird faces and noises. He'd make them right back at me before falling over in a fit of giggles.
As he got older I started teaching him to walk, with my mom's help. I was only 8 at the time after all. It shocked everyone at dinner one night when I playfully asked Ryou to pass me something- I don't remember what- and instead he gave a little bounce and said, "Aniki!" Honestly it did sound more like, "Awaki" but I couldn't care less at the time.
I shot out of my chair and started hounding at him to say it again. He didn't, but that was okay. He'd said it once, and my mom looked… sorta' happy, in a word. Dad still seemed surprised by the end of the day when I was teasing him that Ryou liked me better than them. It didn't occur to me until later on that it was true.
When he turned 6 he got to this really weird stage where the only thing he wanted was money. He even had this little rhyme- though it didn't really rhyme too great- and we'd laugh at him all the time when he started singing it. It went sort of like this, if I can remember, "Money, money. Buy me a…" He would insert bikey, or gamey, or yummy. Whatever he wanted at the time. He must be really embarrassed when he thinks of that now days. Poor guy.
At one point, my dad got really… jealous. He wanted to spend time with Ryou I guess. And he got mad when he figured that Ryou would rather spend time with me. I decided to back off a little, and hung out Kentarou a lot more. My dad taught him how to ride a bike, paint using balloons and read a few more words during the month that me and my brother hardly spoke to each other.
But one night he woke me up at midnight and started crying, thinking I didn't like him anymore. I hugged him and explained I was just letting daddy have him for awhile. Ryou snorted and stated clearly, "I got room for papa and both you in my heart." All I could do was hug him and teach him how to beat the next level on a videogame I'd gotten on the Christmas before.
One of the best things I remember is laughing out loud when he came running home from his first day in 2nd grade, yelling that he was never going to rescue another girl from the big playground bully ever again in his whole life if a kiss was what he got in return. Of course he was thinking "Gross!" while I was wishing I could be him. My girlfriend at the time didn't even want to kiss yet.
I predicted to him that by the time he was 10, he'd be kissing some girl he didn't even know the name of in the back of the classroom. Pity, but I don't think I was right.
On his 8th Christmas I got a new video game called 'Tennis Nale' and within a week, he'd beaten it. He had saved up all his money since he 5 or 6 just to buy a puppy he'd seen at the pet store we went by every once in a while, and instead he came home after school one day with a brand new tennis racket and some yellow balls.
I played with him for awhile, using dad's old, old tennis racket. But… I'd never played before and he seemed to be such a natural at the game, that after about half a year, I couldn't beat him. He'd serve, I'd return and then he'd win the game. Totally sucked.
For his birthday that year I got him the mutt we call 'Onigiri' today. Now that's a memory. We were all sitting at the dining table trying to come up with a name for the mutt, when he jumped on Ryou's lap and up onto the table and started eating our rice ball's! Onigiri was the perfect name.
That was also when Ryou decided he wanted to grow his hair long. I thought he was crazy, dad thought he watched too much TV, mom said that he looked cute no matter what he did and grandma said that she'd hurt anyone who tried to go near him with scissors.
I didn't really notice it at the time, but as his hair got longer his ego and pride grew too. Before I knew it, he was what I would truly call a brat. I just didn't know it because I refused to acknowledge it.
It surprised all of us that day. The day when he said, "I'm going to go to Hyoutei Gakuen."
We all tried to convince him not to. We told him that that school was filled with snobby, rich brats that were all too full of themselves to be legal. As much as we hated to admit it, we weren't exactly… Hyoutei Gakuen material. We lived in an apartment after all. Most kids who went to that school lived in these huge mansions. Not only that but… it was a dorm type school. It meant we wouldn't see him in forever. I really didn't want him to go.
I refused to say goodbye as he got in dad's car and drove to that stupid school with dad. It just wasn't fair. Why'd he have to leave anyway? I didn't understand. I didn't want to.
He'd phone us, and I'd talk to him for hours at a time. But… the longer he was away the lesser he'd call, and when we did manage to get on the phone together, we didn't really talk for as long as we originally had.
I was surprised when Christmas Break came around and he stayed at the school, claiming he had a lot of schoolwork to do. That Christmas I finally acknowledged it. My little brother was growing up to be a young man that didn't need to come to me for every question he had anymore. He wanted to be a person all on his own, and I respected him for that.
He did come home Summer Break though, and I accused him of growing up without me. And he was really. His hair was really long now, and he said that he pretty much had a spot on the regulars the next year for sure. It was happy but sad at the same time, to be honest.
He was right though. He called and said that he did get a spot on the regulars that year. We were all really happy for him. Especially me. I teased him that he only made it on because the coach probably had a crush on him. He snorted and said that he made it on because of his skill, and that that coach couldn't have had enough emotion to like someone, let alone have a crush on them.
He seemed to be happy, and popular- which was surprising to me. I mean, he did grow up in what those Hyoutei kids probably made fun of all the time- at that school of his. Though… he seemed… well, I still don't know how to put it. Lonely maybe? Missing something… He didn't seem to notice it though.
Mom and dad didn't notice it either. They're still squealing over the fact that he got strait A's at Hyoutei Gakuen. Weirdos… Just because I didn't get strait A's…
When he came home for his 2nd summer break of middle school I decided to keep my mouth shut. He was old enough to figure it out himself. And I sort of wanted him to come to me, instead of me just trying to rekindle an old brother ship that I hated to admit, but was fading.
His 3rd year at Hyoutei Gakuen had to be the most eventful I guess. Half way through the year I found out he'd been kicked off the regular's team. But he'd been put back on as a doubles player. His partner was Ohtori Choutarou.
I called him up, about two weeks before winter break and was surprised to find out he was sharing a dorm room with someone else now.
"Is Ryou there?" I asked, somewhat cautiously. I didn't really know who this was after all.
"Shishido-san? He's here but… he's not in the greatest of moods." The voice was rather soft for a boy and I could tell even over the phone that he was a nice, polite child, probably younger than Ryou. I didn't understand how he ended up in Hyoutei.
"Think I care? I was in the same room when he figured out that his friend had put a spider in his bed." I laughed at the memory and could feel that the boy on the other side was amused by this as well though his response made me wonder what kind of boy he was anyway.
"Oh… Well, I… uhh… Do you want to talk to him right now?" He seemed almost… frightened of handing over the phone to my brother.
"Do you mind?"
"Hold on." I heard some muffled sounds as he put his hand over the phone's ear. It was a few moments before I heard Ryou.
"What a nice way to greet your brother." I grinned lightly, just seeing his face brighten a bit.
"Ryosuke! What's up?" Well… He did seem more interested in talking now.
"Oh, you know, the usual. Listening to some kid on the phone you seemed to have scared the hell out of recently."
"Choutarou? What do you mean scared?" He seemed curious about- wait… Choutarou?
"What'd you call him?" Now this was one for the record books. My little brother was calling him Choutarou, while 'Choutarou' was still calling him 'Shishido-san?'
"Whatever. Never mind. Look Ryou, think of coming home for Christmas okay? I have the best present of all for you!" And I hung up on him of course.
Two weeks later I was pleased as all hell when he showed up on the doorstep, covered in snow. I was surprised to see another boy with him though. 'Choutarou...' I was fairly certain.
My surprise at his hair far surpassed the extra guest though.
"What the hell- you chopped off your head!" I teased him the entire time until mom and dad got home with some last minute presents.
"So…" I turned to 'Choutarou', "Your name would be?"
He went red and bowed his head muttering, "Ohtori Choutarou, desu."
"Ah. I guessed right then."
The whole week that they were at home, I got this feeling that Ryou got what he'd been missing. It'd been this kid. Sure… He wasn't exactly what I would have picked, but seeing him smile at Ryou, and Ryou really- really smile back… I knew that he wouldn't have had it any other way.
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