Sai's Shadow

When Hikaru loses someone close to him will his friends be able to save him from himself? Warning! Spoilers for vol. 15 Disclaimer: I do not own Hikaru no Go Hotta Yumi and Obata Takeshi do.

Prologue

In a small room within the empty Go Institute stood a single boy crying out a plea.

"I should have let Sai play…from the beginning… Anyone would agree. It would have been better to let Sai play all the games. All of them! All of them! All of them! I don't need to play! I won't ask to play again! So... God please turn back time! Turn back time to when I first met him!" Hikaru pleaded to an unseen god.

There was no one to hear his plea, nor answer it. Hikaru broke down into sobs, feeling the terrible void that is called loneliness.

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Two boys waited anxiously watching the elevator for a certain blonde pro.

He's late Waya thought. Shindo, why haven't you come? Touya wondered. As the start time approached the two pros filed into sit down for their matches.

Taking a seat Touya mused And I thought I would finally get a chance to watch you play. Or… are you not coming today?

What is he doing? Did he oversleep? Waya thought as he sat down Touya is bothered by Shindo's absence, too…Oh no the games about to start. The buzzer to start went off and still no sign of the blonde pro.

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Touya and Waya slowly made to leave, their minds still on their absent friend when they heard Shinoda-sensei talking on the phone.

"You say that Shindo-kun came here yesterday? That's strange, he didn't show up for his pro match today… What? Shindo-kun never came home last night?" Shinoda exclaimed a passing security guard paused.

"Oh, if you are talking about Shindo-kun, I saw him last night. He seemed upset about something and was asking about ghosts, so I showed him the storage room for all the kifu. I looked in later, but it didn't look like anyone was there, I thought he had gone home." The guard said concerned.

Without a second of hesitation Touya and Waya ran to the kifu storage room, hoping to find their missing friend. Throwing open the door they found Shindo curled up in a fetal position, behind the table, staring blankly out into space with tear stained eyes. Without even acknowledging the presence of his two friends, Hikaru muttered random words occasionally.

Hikaru muttered, "no...don't…. Kami-sama….play….please…"

Forcing down his questions, Waya bent down and gently shook his friend "Shindo, are you okay?" Seeing no response he shook the smaller boy harder

"Oi! Shindo answer me!"

Shinoda-sensei and the guard caught up with the two pros, and stood by the doorway stunned.

"Has Shindo-kun been here all night?" Shinoda asked.

Touya bent down and touched Hikaru's face "He's freezing, someone call an ambulance!"

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An anxious Touya and Waya waited for the doctor to tell them of the status of their friend. Waya paced around the room while Touya struggled to maintain his cool façade. Finally the doctor came.

"Physically, Shindo-kun is fine, but mentally, he seems to be in shock. Do either of you know if he has lost anyone close to him recently?" The doctor asked.

"He seems to be mumbling one word a lot, either Sei or Sae or something like that."

Both boys thought one thing. SAI! Shaking their heads both of them admitted that they had no idea if their friend had lost anyone.

The doctor sighed and said, "Well, I'll just have to ask his mother when she arrives. You can go in to see him, but so far he has been unresponsive. You probably won't get much out of him." Waya and Touya thanked the doctor and then went into see their friend.

The pair walked into the room, but Hikaru didn't even acknowledge their presence. He just sat there with a disturbingly blank expression and an eerie silence. The silence seemed so out of place from Hikaru's normal cheerful banter.

Finally Waya broke the silence. "Shindo, you jerk! Making us worry like that, and you even missed one of your pro matches. Those things determine our ranking you know." Waya said.

After another painfully long silence Waya was about to speak again when Hikaru spoke.

"It doesn't matter" Hikaru said in a voice so quiet and cold, it sent chill up both pros spines.

Waya exploded "Of course it matters! You can't move up if you don't play!"

Hikaru interrupted his voice so cold he sounded like a ghost, "It doesn't matter anymore, I'm not going to play go anymore."

Now Touya exploded "Not going to play anymore? Don't screw around! Why did you become a pro if not to play me?"

Hikaru simply turned away from them and uttered one word "Sai"

"Shindo!" Whatever they said, neither boy could get Hikaru to explain either of his statements. He just stared off into space as if expecting something to come from it. Finally, Hikaru's mother came to bring him home, leaving both boys dissatisfied.