Disclaimer: Hikaru no Go does not belong to me. They belong to their original owner and writers. So please do not sue me for a story that is just for fandom. -Again-They aren't mine.
Anime: Hikaru no Go
Pairing: Akira/Hikaru slight implied Hikaru/Sai
Author: Fuji S. Yuki
How long has it been? One week, one month, one year, it doesn't matter Sai wasn't coming back. Even though Hikaru knew that inwardly his heart still bleed for his best friend that had been with him for that faithful one year and something months. The presences that made him feel safe and never alone. No one would comprehend the meaning behind the loss. No that was wrong, some would still feel loss if they knew, if they knew that Sai was truly gone.
Not in the corporeal sense, but in the spiritual form that presently stuck by to watch over them all - to watch him. However, even though many look at him wondering, pondering if he knew. Other's wonder what the mystery laid hidden behind him would be released into the world. Yet, Hikaru only play for one reason, to have fun to feel the go stone pressed against his fingers, while he step his strategy onto the board, and to reach the goal of the hand of god.
Though before when he was young and new, he always wonder what this hand of god everyone had been talking about. What the big fuss was all about? Yet, it became clearer, when Sai had informed him that it was Touya Meijin whom was the closest to that move. Surely that man wasn't as high enough against the Master of Go, but he was close enough to the power and intensity of the move that lay hidden from many that sought it.
It wasn't long of course; he had passed his second dan status as a Go Pro. It was a long journey, but he was getting closer, to what he sought and that was his rival. Perhaps it was selfish of him, but he craved the feeling he felt when ever he pressed the stone onto the smooth surface of the board. It was an addiction; he could now understand why exactly Sai love the game so badly. To be without it was something that would make a empty hole inside a individual. Yet he had bear it up, the loss of Sai was something more precious then time itself, and all the go games he had played.
Hikaru was right now sitting in a Go Salon sipping some tea that was provided to him. Perhaps it was ironic that he would be here of all places the place where it all began the game where he had met his rival for eternity-Touya Akira. Funny thing was sometimes he consider as he looked back that Sai would have been considered a rival to Touya Meijin. In truth he suppose he could have called Sai as his instructor the one to give him the information and somewhat basic in the game. To play and watch how Sai worked and move was an art in itself, and now that he understood more, he knew. He recognizes the high potential that was that had been Sai.
Sometimes he wondered during his one last dream of his beloved friend if he had turned and look sadly at the go pieces knowing that he wouldn't be able to play after that one last game with Touya Meijin. After all that was the marking point, when Touya Meijin retired and involuntary so did Sai, in the most unknown sense. The other had passed on toward the other side leaving this world after one thousand years of waiting playing, laughing, crying, and feeling.
A finger brushed his cheek jerking him slightly out of his thoughts. "Hnn?" Blinking his peridot gem eyes in surprise at Akira.
Tsavorite garnet orbs stare at him with faint concern, "Shindou-kun. Are you alright?" Callous fingers stop stroking and withdrew, quickly after Akira noticed what he was doing. For the past one week Shindou hadn't been acting the way he normally did. Rather he seems quieter, more contemplative and perhaps even depressed.
Touya didn't quite understand why, but he acknowledges inwardly that it had to do with the date and the time. After all it was during this time before that Shindou had quit Go and stopped playing. No one understood his relationship with the blonde-black hair boy. They didn't comprehend his fascination except that the other was good at Go, though a bit loud and boastful. They didn't know that it was Shindou Hikaru that brought blood of fire and ice into his veins and excitement toward his arteries making the battle of playing into something more. Something deeper inside Shindou Hikaru that made him feel young, when he alone felt old as time, with no section toward normality in his life.
"I'm fine." Hikaru's voice jotted him out of his reflection.
Tilting his head a bit he pressed his finger to his chin in thought Akira knew inwardly it wouldn't be any good to try to get the truth out of the other. After all he was just as stubborn when it came to his secrets, almost like his father. However, he didn't like seeing his eternal rival depressed it just wasn't right. "Your not really fine are you Shindou-kun?"
A sudden drop of temperature over took the room, while peridot eyes darken, a flash of pain, fury, perhaps even remorse then it went back into the lighter color of shaded green. "Maybe, gomen ne. I don't think I can play so well if I am like this."
After a few struggling with his thoughts Akira blurted out slightly nervously, "Do you want to talk about it?" Why was he nervous? It didn't really honestly make sense to him, he did have a right to ask, he was someone that—a quick pause halted his thoughts—what was he beside a rival toward the other? Was he friend—Fowl—or perhaps something more?
"No, not really." Hikaru mumbles as he stood on his feet, picking up the fan that he had beside him and slid it like a cell phone onto a holder that he had fashion for just the purpose of not losing the item. It was ingenious and in a way Hikaru didn't want to lose something this important. Of course it looked slightly ridiculous with his clothing, but the young boy didn't care. To him with the fan he could almost feel that Sai was him and that was all that mattered to him regardless of fashion sense.
Touya never did comprehend the obsession Shindou had for the fan, all he had every known was that he had shown up one year ago, when the boy started to make a come back in playing. Its presence was duly noted. He felt slightly oppressed in a way they parted. It wasn't in the regular fashion and it made Touya feel rather uncomfortable. He had grown use to both of them arguing in a disagreement and Shindou storming off in a fit of anger. It was a way to play he supposed, maybe to remind them that they were still children – if nothing but that.
Worried he followed his rival, watching as the other walked onward after fetching his backpack and walking out of the go salon. He didn't see the smile of some of the players, and the people that ran his father's salon, when he exited through the door. Akira knew he should be ashamed for following the other. It wasn't right to tail Shindou-kun when he had said he was fine and aright.
Even though they were eternal rivals Touya admits he still cared for the other, he didn't want to lose the person that was Shindou Hikaru for the go world. He didn't pull the other to his world just to see him fall out of it and disappear leaving him bitterly alone.
The black-blonde halted in his steps at a temple, curious as to why the other would go to a temple. It didn't take long after a few trips here and there they finally arrived at the top where the temple was opened up. Almost as ritual and as timing, an old monk walked up and smiled at Hikaru. "So you came back again Shindou-kun."
"Aa…" Hands stretched out to give a few coins to the monk, he bow and took a piece of incense and lit it. Hikaru's head bowed downward as he mumbles softly, but loud enough for the other boy to hear.
Maybe it was wrong for Akira to listen into the other's prayers, however he was curious. Okay correction very curious as to why Hikaru would be here. Was it because he had lost someone? Could it be a relative that had pasted away or was this some important day that he had to come here. Whatever it was, it seem that Hikaru had been coming here for a couple of days, perhaps even one week ago, when he started to act someone drained and quiet.
"Ne…I bet your getting tired of me lately aren't you." Hikaru's voice called out solemnly while staring wishfully upward at the shrine. "I couldn't find the real place that you died at, I am truly sorry. However, there are many of these little stone henge's that were created with your name." A faint bitter laugh hit the echoing corners of the shrine, "People don't realize do they, how this isn't about tourism, but what the true meaning of GO is—"
A moment of silences trickled into the room, Akira held his breath, not wanting to alert his presences to his rival. He was wondering by the tidbits what Shindou was referring to when he said stone henge's let alone tourist traps. Though the one tip off word that he latch onto was the word GO.
"No one really understands, the reason behind the game, unless they are the ones playing it. Just like you were, just like we had been doing before you went away." The angle of the column allotted Akira view to see tears trickle down the corners of peridot eyes.
A ping of guilt swelled into his heart at spying on another, when it was evident that this was private and rather personal conversation. Yet he couldn't move away, let alone let himself go away from what he had heard. He wanted to know, he wanted to understand this Shindou-kun.
The other Shindou he knew was cheerful, happy, full of genki energy, which was contagious. The way he play Go gave a dissertation toward the strength that was held within that small sport clothed body, and the eyes that harden into orbs of thick substances wasn't something to be over looked. Yet he never knew that Shindou beneath it all held a side that was sad, crying, and perhaps even in pain.
"You should have stayed, but now all that is left is the memory of you. The memory and piece that I have gain, while watching and learning from you. How I miss you—I understand that you probably can't come back, but – Sai I wanted you to know." Hikaru mumbles softly, eyes closed while head lean down in a pose of submission and tiredness.
Akira's eyes widen and a small gasp came out of his lungs in surprise at the name, things were starting to add up, and yet they weren't. It wasn't right, it really wasn't to learn a part of a puzzle from listening in, for invading, but—in a way he felt closer to the mystery that was held behind the younger boy.
Not noticing the faint gasp, only that his heart felt torn, " That when I play I feel you, when I play I am happy for we are almost together again. Arm in arm, best friends, I wonder if it was ever like that for you."
The incense slowly burned halfway, it was something he had been doing for the past week. Always coming since the first week that Sai had disappeared to pray to hope that wherever Sai was now he would hear his thoughts and his confession. "Ne Sai, do you ever regret meeting me? Maybe if you didn't you could have spent a few more years with someone. Lived longer to play all those thousands of games you wanted so badly to play."
Hands shaking he slid the incense into the holder in front of him and looked up. "I sorry, Sai. I can't tell you how much so for I don't regret meeting you—seeing you and having all those fun times with you. Rest well my friend, I'll see you again in another year."
Turning around he made his way toward the door his hand gripped onto the fan by his side. A flicker of something made him pause, and he narrow his eyes slightly, when he noticed familiar color of hair, and startled Tsavorite garnet orbs tinged with guilt. "Touya."
'He knew.' That was the first words that strangle its way through his mind, then his fist clenched around the fan protectively. "Why are you here?"
Touya looked away guilty and toed his foot into the cobbled stone of the temple floor. "I'll—I was worried about you."
Hikaru twitches a bit annoyed, "Don't you know the word privacy?"
"Yes—but…" Touya began.
Hikaru's turned away and hunched his shoulders together. "How much did you hear?" His hands were haplessly shoved into the pocket of his shorts, while inwardly he knew that the other heard possibly everything. He cursed himself for being so careless, and yet another part of him was intensely relieved.
"Shindou." Licking his dry lips Akira felt his hands clench into white fist, he knew it was wrong of him. Yet, didn't it count at least that he cared enough about the other? Why couldn't Hikaru see that he was really concerned for him, that he only did this because he was worried and concern for his welfare.
"You heard it all didn't you?"
Flinching a bit Akira knew that sound of betrayal in that soft-spoken voice. He had been with Hikaru to know how the other's temperament was like, "Yes—gomen." Walking forward he stretched his hand out into the air wanting to touch the other, and yet afraid to. "I am. Really am. I didn't mean to do it, but you—"
"All you had to do was wait one more day Touya." Once again that soft voice laced with pain, "Just one day, then I would have gone back to the regular slap happy Hikaru that constantly fights with you."
Hikaru turned around faint edges of fatigue appeared in normally bright eyes, a ticking faintly flicker once in a while at the side of the young boy's jaw line, from the grinding of his teeth. "Just one day, then you wouldn't have to see me this way until next year." Eyes sudden closed, Hikaru lean his head back and breath in deeply to calm his nerves. "Just one more day Touya."
"I." Confused at what Hikaru was implying, "I don't understand Shindou-kun."
"No I suppose you wouldn't." Rasping, Hikaru pressed his fingers to his temple tired of everything. He couldn't fight any longer the secrets he held for this long wasn't something he would normally do. Yet, he could at least let the other know that the subject wasn't welcome yet, he did tell the green tinted black hair boy that he wasn't going to impart all of the story until someday.
Which wasn't now, let alone anywhere near the future, perhaps maybe when he was at his death bed he would do it to spite the other. However he was feeling a bit drained and absolutely cranky after the ordeal of being discovered during his period of mourning and solace. After all, didn't people have any more respect for privacy? It isn't a god-forsaken ritual that isn't being done anymore. It still exists, why else do people not walk into the bathroom without knocking.
Then why couldn't they do the same when a person was in mourning of all the rotten luck. Vaguely amused, he knew that he was really not in a good position to speak, what with his emotions still in an uproar. "I'm going home." He announced tiredly and started his way to the door.
Akira snapping out quickly "Wait! You still—"
Darken eyes turn around to glare at him in flashes of anger, "Wouldn't you respect the dead? Then I suggest for you to respect my wishes as well." Satisfied at the shock that resonated in the other, he stepped forward and made his way back to his home. It was possible that he would feel remorse for what he had done in snapping at the other, however, private matters were private. Things were still fresh, and he didn't want to let anyone else know, after all if people got word that he had a GO spirit running lose in his life. They would consider him one insane two a cheater if they believed him or three someone that was just wanted attention and was liar.
Then the challenges for Sai would come, but the only problem was that Sai wasn't here, then who knows what other weirdo stuff would pop up. People that liked let alone love GO would do anything for it, especially for an extremely strong player. He had acknowledged this when he watched Sai take on one after another challenge.
Sometimes being good at something didn't necessary mean one would ever get peace or quiet because of it. That was a curse of loving something so dearly, and yet being good at it as well. Hikaru sighs tiredly as he walked through the door calling out that he was home and then heading toward his room. He didn't even bother stopping when his mother called out, he was just tired, changing he slid beneath the covers.
Sleep slid quickly into Hikaru sometimes he would dream, sometimes he wouldn't get anything but the depth of quietness and sometimes his mind wouldn't remember a dream that he had. This was one of those times when dreams come, and the mind is receptive if they really are open and their barriers weakened.
'Hikaru." The voice whispered softly, 'Hikaru, I'm here. Hikaru can you hear me?'
Dreamscape eyes slid open until they stared into amethyst eyes and long sapphire hair that trailed in the moonlighted area. "Sai?" He whispered softly and smiled. "You're talking to me?"
A soft laughter fluttered in the air around them, 'Hikaru. I'll always be with you. You just don't remember, when you sleep. There is a piece of me in you, when you play, there is a piece of me that watches over you.'
"Sai—" Hikaru reached out his hand toward the other. "Why did you leave me?"
A fan fluttered open, 'Hikaru—my time has past. My era has ended it was your turn your generation to go ahead. However, I didn't really leave, I live in you Hikaru. Just as you live in the way you play Go.'
"I don't understand Sai." Hikaru rub his eyes feeling tears trickling downward, "I don't understand why you didn't stay with me. We were supposed to be together until I die right?"
'Oh Hikaru." Lazy laughter parted and Sai kneeled down until he squatted eye level with the other. 'My spirit may have passed over when the blood faded. It was in a way a curse that kept me from moving on, maybe a segment of that curse was place til I reach the one reason for my stay on this planar of existences. Now it has been satisfied the other me is gone true, but there is still a small part of me here inside of you. I am not really gone, as long as you remember. As long as you believe, when you play Go, do you not feel me?'
The blonde/black hair boy nodded his head thoughtfully. "So your not truly gone?"
'As long as you play, as long as you remember, as long as you care for me as much as I do for you. We will always be together.' A pale hand slid through the blonde/black hair petting the other, where the real world outside of dreams, it wouldn't have been possible. 'Hikaru, you're my successor my true one, you will continue to play and I will be with you. Your smart enough to know that I was really with you, but—"
Amethyst orbs look on wistfully, 'you just thought it was a memory of what I would do if I play where and so on. In a way I could be that—but perhaps I am not." A hand stretched outward and lazily brushed away the younger boy's tears, 'Don't cry anymore Hikaru. Don't cry, lets change the world together ne Hikaru?'
A slight smile appeared on Hikaru's face. "Un!"
'Lets play Hikaru ne ne. Lets play!'
Slowly a blinding light flooded the area until Hikaru open his eyes looking around noticing that it was morning already. A soft whisper brush through his sleep ridden mind, 'Ne lets play, Hikaru—Hikaru…'
"Hikaru wake up your going to be late." His mother's voice calling out warning him that if he didn't get up she would be walking up the stairs to kick him out of bed.
"Alright!" Hikaru cried out in response, rubbing his face slightly, his eyes slid to the fan that was positioned on the Go board. Odd he didn't remember placing it there when he got home. Shrugging his shoulder, he quickly got up and started to dress for his day, slightly realizing that he had to go to Touya Meijin's Go Salon to play Go and what had transpired yesterday. Cursing a bit, he sighed in slight agony at seeing Akira for he knew he was probably going to get it from the other by how he acted. Oh well it couldn't be helped.
Indeed Akira was feeling a bit indignant right at this moment, even though his mind was steaming he still played with his father at Go. Though it wasn't exactly wise to play when ones mind was disquieted with emotions and worries. "Akira." Touya Mejin's voice called out to him, waking him from his trance.
"Eh?" Akira blinked slightly and glances up to peer into his father's concerned eyes.
"Are you feeling well?" It was well known that his father could tell what was wrong with is young boy. After all it had happen before, and the normal cause for his disgruntle behavior was no other then Shindou Hikaru. It was sort of amusing to see his son acting this way, after all the boy was all respectful, quiet, and in a way he was quite satisfied that his son was getting out and about more. Having friends his age in the Go world, after all it wasn't exactly healthy for Akira to always remain with old gentlemen all the time.
Speaking of Shindou Hikaru he was wondering if the boy would stop over, so that he might have a talk with the young man. He had always found the other different compared to Akira, and it was immensely fascinating to watch the other filled with such determination and energy that could rival his own son. Besides, whenever Shindou was near his son the other would react in the most childish manner and it satisfied him that his son would react. It shows that he was in a happy in the most non-logical way.
Akira fidgets he never did keep secrets with his father, it was one of the reason why the parent and child bond was strong between him and the other. "I…well um, not really."
"Is it about that boy, Shindou?" Touya Meijin whispered while placing his hand on his son's head. Feeling the stiffening beneath his palm he knew he hit the target at what was worrying his son.
"It's just—I sort of did something bad but it wasn't intentional really I don't think it was." Akira clenches his hand, "I was just concern for him, he—he." Tears were gathering beneath his eyelids of his shuteyes. "I just didn't like seeing him that way. Why won't he understand?"
"I am sure that he understands, but the question is what did you do that wasn't intentional?" Touya tilted his head back and lifted his palm away from his son's head, while shifting the position of his body.
Akira opens his eyes and then glance down in shame. "I listen in on a personal conversation he was having at a temple. And he mentioned the person's name as Sai." His head was lifted as he measured his father's look.
A flicker in his father's eyes let him know that something had clicked shut, then the other bow his head. "I can see why he would feel a bit unsettled, sometimes things are best left alone until ready to be imparted to others."
Akira fidgets, "Otou-san do you know? That is do you know Sai?" His greenish eyes tinged with something akin to puzzlement, "Or is it that you know who he might have been to Shindou-kun?"
Quiet descended in the room as Touya Meijin stare at his son in dead silence, the evidence that he did know something, was by his quietness. He suppose it was his father's way of keeping a promise that he perhaps made to Shindou-kun, things began to piece a little bit for Akira, and yet there were still holes in almost the whole story. By what he could deduct one Shindou Hikaru knew Sai, two and he was mourning him meaning that the other was gone dead. Three if it was indeed Shindou who had scheduled something for his father by now his suspicion were cleared that his father indeed did know something about Sai the ghost of the net.
By now Touya Meijin knew that his son was probably placing together, after all his son was incredibly bright when it came to puzzles. Only thing he had to do was place together some of the puzzle, the only thing he didn't like was having his son invade a personal issue. "Akira it is wiser to respect the dead." Slowly the Meijin slid to his feet and made his way to the door, pausing, "Go to school you will be late soon."
Akira sat silently, then with a sigh got to his feet and nabbed his backpack; this was the second time these words were expressed to him. He wondered if perhaps it was a warning after all it couldn't have been just coincidence that two people told him the same thing. Or could it?
Steadily he walked out and headed toward his school. Things didn't match up, it really didn't it still didn't explain how one like Shindou would have been able to play a match and win against him when he was smaller. Surely there must have been something behind him, the Shindou that was inexperience the first and second time, play like an older Shindou would play. Okay that was a total paradox it wasn't possible for that to happen right?
He halted slightly in his steps and his eyes widen. Unless there was someone inside Shindou a part of him, that wasn't really him but another person. Honestly that has to be a sick joke it isn't a possible for a spirit let alone a ghost to be believable let alone true. Weren't ghost really only tales used to scare children into behaving? Then again, he took another step forward, could there be a ghost that could play go like a master. But wouldn't that mean that the ghost was another person and he possessed Shindou? No that can't be, it didn't make sense that ghost exist let alone play Go. Yet was that really true that ghost couldn't exist?
'If you keep chasing after my illusion all the time. You won't see me until I just pass you over.' Those words crept into his mind as he sped up the pace of his walk to school. Who exactly is Shindou-kun? Why would he say those things? These kept running through Akira's mind, he didn't comprehend, all the pieces weren't there, but this time after all these months he had a few more pieces to the puzzle. Breathing a sigh of relief when he walked through the door and place his shoe on, he step through the hallway heading to his homeroom. Only time could tell him, if he was mistake, if he was wrong about what he deducted, and yet did he really want to know the truth?
It didn't take long for school to end and for Akira and Shindou to meet in Touya Mejin's salon. It was a regular schedule they kept whether as a secret from some of the friends. Both of them stood in front of each other eyeing one another trying to see something and yet feeling guilty. At the same time they blurted out, "Gomen!" Then pause and laugh, it was a relief in a way both acknowledges that the other forgave and was willing to put things aside.
Touya Meijin and some other individuals were watching the exchange in faint amusement. It didn't take long for both boys to come inside and set up things to play, it was seems things were going back to normal. Well what ever could be consider normal between the two.