Disclaimer : I don't own Hikaru no Go but Obata and Hotta Yumi do.


Chapter 7 : His last question and his belated answer

The following day, at Akira's Go salon

"Touya!" Akira looked up from the goban as soon as he heard that familiar voice.

"S-Shindou" Akira stammered. He didn't know how to react after everything he had found out.

"Hi!" Hikaru greeted him brightly as usual.

"Y-you recovered from your fever?" Akira didn't know how to face Hikaru, so he looked at the goban instead.

"Yap."

"Tha-that's good." Akira continue to avoid Hikaru's eyes.

"Touya?"

"Y-yes?"

"…."

In the morning, Hikaru had woken up on his bed in his bedroom. The last thing he remembered was the cold floor of the association. He had wondered how he had come back home. He asked his mother what had happened, but she had been confused, telling him that the previous day he had just gone to bed as soon as he had arrived home. Hikaru knew in that second what had happened. If he had lost his awareness but managed to come home safely by himself, it only meant one thing: Sai had woken up and brought him home. Of course, he has been glad that his another part hadfinally come back. But his happiness vanished right after he tried to call Sai but didn't get any reply then he realized that Sai was going to talk to him again.

Now, Akira was acting weird…very weird. He seemed uneasy. If Sai had woken up the day before and Akira was acting like this. It only meant one thing; Akira had met Sai!

"You met him, didn't you?" Hikaru asked quietly.

"Shindou..I…I"

"Let's have a walk," Hikaru stood up and left the Go salon waiting for Akira outside.

They ended up at the nearest park. Akira told Hikaru everything what Kenji had told him.

"Your dad knows too? Ken-chan has a big mouth, hasn't he?" Hikaru laughed awkwardly. He didn't know what to say next. Now two persons that he didn't want them to know the truth the most knew everything.

" Shindou,I.."

" Don't! Please. Just…don't," Hikaru cut Akira's word off. Akira knew he shouldn't push him too hard so he kept silent.

Then Hikaru decided it was time to ask Akira the question that bothered him all along.

"Touya…Who do you want to play with? Me? Or Sai?"

Akira turned to him immediately. For him, Sai was the strongest player he had ever played against. He was the one he had been chasing, the one he had always dreamt of. Hikaru was a strong player too…but compared to Sai, Hikaru was…

"You've chosen," Hikaru choked out, almost crying. He thought that he had already erased Sai from Akira's mind. He hoped that Akira would tell him without any hesitation that he was Akira's eternal rival, that he was the one Akira wanted to play with for the rest of his life. But Akira didn't say anything, he hesitated. This meant….

"It's him. It's him that you want, not me. It was him. It has always been him and will always be him."

"Shindou,I..I" Akira wanted to protest but deep inside knew that Hikaru was right. Sai was a stronger player, and if he had to choose a partner to walk to the Hand of God together, he should choose the strongest one, right?

Hikaru hugged Akira tightly, as tight as he could, as if it was the last time he could. "Thanks for everything, my dear friend. We'll always friends. Don't ever forget that. Friends…forever"

"Shindou, what do you mean?" Then it happened: Hikaru fell down on the ground, as if dead. "Shindou!" Akira found a teardrop on Hikaru's cheek.

Since that day Hikaru never woke up again. Kenji told Akira that Hikaru had decided to sleep forever because he thought that it was Sai everyone wanted-that Akira wanted, so there was no reason for him to exist anymore.

Once again, the story repeated itself, almost like a curse. But this time it was Sai who called Hikaru day and night, but never got any answer. Hikaru was sleeping now.

Akira was right. Sai was the strongest player the Go world had ever experienced. After Sai came back, Shindou-pro became much much stronger… even stronger than him. Everyone was curious, especially his friends, who wanted to know how he could become this strong in such a short time. In the same time, they were overjoy that the new wave had finally come.

No one knew the truth about Hikaru, except for three persons: Akira, his father and Kenji.

Akira played with Sai sometimes. He thought that some day one Sai might reach the Hand of God. No, he was sure that Sai could reach it. Playing with Sai made Akira become a stronger player too. Touya Akira and Shindou Hikaru (Sai) would be the two brightest stars shining for the next generation.

But Sai didn't laugh the way Hikaru did. In fact Sai had never laughed. Sai didn't dress the way Hikaru dressed either; he dressed only in black. Sai was always polite and placid. He had never yelled at Akira or anyone the way Hikaru used to. Sai's eyes were green just like Hikaru but they were different. When Akira used to look into Hikaru's eyes, he found …life? Sometimes Hikaru's eyes had reflected the greatest sorrow, but they could reflect the greatest happiness too. But Sai's eyes reflected nothing but emptiness. Sometimes Hikaru had fallen down but had never given up, he had always found out a way to stand up again. But Sai had never fallen. Akira thought both of them were strong but felt that Sai's strength was too strong, too cold. It was a strength that didn't belong to a human.

It was then Akira realized that he had been mistaken. The one he had been waiting for all his life, the one he had always dreamt of, the one he wanted to play with for the rest of his life wasn't Sai. It was Hikaru. He now wished he had told Hikaru that. He wished he could turn back time but it was too late now. He had already lost Hikaru. All he could do was to just hope that one day Hikaru would wake up again.

"And this time I'll tell him. I'll tell him everything. And I will never let him go again."


Special Thanks: rebecca who likes this fic much enough to help me revise it.


Legit : Thank you, I'll continue working.

Firehedehog : Glad you enjoy

pure reflection : here, is the last chapter. Hey, I have the same problem. My PC doesn't allow me to put a review too.

kathystqgvk : Reading your comment really makes my day : ) Do you know Spiral? The next fic will be a crossover. I'll take a few break before I post it. It'll be longer than this one but shorter than "I'll be back".

About the sequel of "I'll be back", I think I'll write it SOMEDAY. Writing a sequel is harder than I thought. It's like when we watch a movie ; No matter how good the 1st part is we want more for the 2nd part. Which is fair enough 'coz there's no point to make a sequel if it's worse than the 1st part. I know that if I write the sequel most of you want it to be a light humor just like " I'll be back". But it's hard to do that from the way Akira reactedin theend, if Yongha comes back, things will be more complicated. If I write it, it'll become more dramatic. Can you guys accept that?


A/N : I know that many of you want me to write more about what happens to Sai and Akira after Hikaru has decided to sleep but I like it this way. Don't be angry, ok? And this Sai isn't our lovelly ghost, he is just another personality.

Besides, the theme is "Turn back time", that's why I focus on the Past more than Present.

Poor Akira, he's already gotten what he wants but he didn't notice that until he lost it :(