Title: A Minor Art
Series: Hikaru no Go
Author: Luce Red Characters are property of Hotta and Obata, Shueisha, Jump and their affiliated parts. The line "What, exactly, constitutes a Go emergency?" is modified from Wankage.
Notes/pairings: General, hint of Akira/Hikaru.
Written for the "Something Borrowed" Challenge at tempsmort
"What, exactly, constitute a Go emergency?"


Take 1

The door burst open, and Akari rushed in, only to turn bright red as she took in the scene she'd interrupted. "Sor.. Sorry!" she bowed deeply, taking the opportunity to avert her eyes while Hikaru and Akira hastily pulled their clothes straight.

"For god's sake, Akari, what's wrong!" Hikaru asked, looking only a little embarrassed and covering that with his characteristic brash tones.

Akari straightened, blushed harder, then shook her head as if to remind herself of the task at hand. "I'm sorry!" she said again, this time to Akira. "I need your help, Hikaru!" she said. Before Hikaru could say anything more, she had grabbed his hand and was heading for the main door.

"Waitaminute!" Hikaru tried unsuccessfully to release himself. "What do you want me to do?" he asked.

"Play Go! Please, Hikaru!" She was still trying to drag him towards the door.

"Well, yeah…" Hikaru agreed confusedly. In Akira's experience, very few people had to plead with Hikaru to play Go. It was probably more difficult to get him to stop. Anyone with more than a passing acquaintance with him knew that Go was his life, and he would keep playing unless there were other more compelling reasons: ramen topped the list. "But why does it have to be now?" Hikaru asked. "You know I'd be happy to play a game with you anytime, Akari."

"Not me! Mitani. Come on!" She began to drag him again, like the owner of a recalcitrant St. Bernard.

Akira was torn between laughing out loud and helping Hikaru.

Sounding even more confused, Hikaru mumbled, "Well, I'd play a game with Mitani too…"

"Not that!" Akari shouted. "Come on, I'll explain later. It's... it's a Go emergency. Touya, I hope you don't mind, I just need to borrow Hikaru for a while. It won't take long!" She took advantage of Hikaru's confusion to plant both palms on his back and push him out.

"Of course, Fujisaki-san," Akira said to the gently closing door.

(Five hours later...)

"Let me get this straight. Some senpai at the high school Go club were teasing Fujisaki-san, so Mitani-san picked a fight with them."

"Well, because he likes Akari, and that's his stupid way of showing it."

"And the senpai threatened to beat him up unless he could play all the club members and win. So Fujisaki-san got worried and got you to play them so that Mitani-san wouldn't get beaten up."

"Er, yes? High school Go club members as bullies. Who would have known?"

Take 2

Akira was thankful that the Go-salon was relatively deserted at this time of the day. Ichikawa was reading a romantic novel avidly, and a pair of old-timers in the corner were absorbed in their game. No one was paying any attention to them, much less to the way Hikaru was kissing a trail down his neck. He made half-hearted, 'stop it we're in public' noises, but Hikaru seemed to take them as encouragement. Teenage hormones had so much to answer for.

The door to the salon didn't exactly crash open--not sliding doors--but they slid open with a determined click that made all eyes turn to the entrance. Including Hikaru's.

"Kawai-san!" Hikaru greeted in surprise, releasing his hold on Akira. "What are you doing here?"

The bespectacled man with the messy hair--he drove a taxi, Hikaru had told him--grinned in triumph when he caught sight of Hikaru. "Ah, Shindou. Finally found you!" he shouted across the salon, while Ichikawa made 'what are you doing' noises.

Akira had a bad feeling.

Sure enough, Kawai-san strode between the rows of tables, to where he and Hikaru were sitting, and pulled him up by the shoulder with a stringy, but obviously strong grip. He glanced at Akira. "I'm sorry to interrupt your game, Touya-sensei," not that there was a game on the goban before them, "but I need to borrow Shindou for a few hours. We've got a Go emergency at the Dougenzaka!" he said, naming the Go salon Hikaru frequented.

"What-" Hikaru stuttered.

"Come on!" Before Akira, Ichikawa, or the two old-timers could say anything else, Kawai-san had dragged Hikaru out the door. The automatic doors slid shut after them.

(Four hours later...)

"The strongest amateur Go player from Kyushu turned up at the Dougenzaka? And this was a reason for coming to find you in such a hurry?"

"Kawai-san boasted that he knew me, and the Kyushu player didn't believe him. So Kawai-san felt he had to protect my reputation."

"Your reputation?"

Take 3

Hikaru dropped his stones back into the go-ke, replaced the cover, and placed it on top of his goban. Opposite him, Akira mirrored his actions, and both sighed with the satisfaction of a well-played game, not to mention a heated post-game discussion. They stared at each other.

"I could lock the door," Hikaru offered.

"That would just be tempting fate."

They ended up sitting on the bed together, Hikaru flipping through a volume of manga and he browsing the latest issue of Go Weekly. Eventually, Hikaru's head flopped indolently against his shoulder, his long hair tickling his neck and filling his nostrils with the scent of his herbal shampoo. Akira reached up to curl his fingers in the blond locks...

The door opened with a crash. Hikaru's manga dropped to the mattress with a dull thud neither of them heard. "Hikaru!" Waya shouted before he took in the scene before him. He took a moment to roll his eyes, before grabbing Hikaru by the wrist. "You've got to come with me!" he said, and tried to drag Hikaru up.

"Waitwaitwait!" Hikaru shook Waya's grip away. "What's going on?" he demanded.

"Did something happen?" Akira asked.

Waya met his eyes for a second, looking awkward as he realized what he had nearly interrupted. "Sort of," he said, then shook his hesitation away. "Anyway, I need to borrow Hikaru for a while. It's a Go emergency!"

(Three hours later...)

"You know, I've never bothered to ask before. What, exactly, constitutes a Go emergency?"

"Eh. Heh. This time, Ko Yong-ha, playing NetGo?"

"Try again."

"Ko Yong-ha, playing NetGo with Waya and saying he didn't believe that there were any decent NetGo players in Japan, which Waya objected to but he'd already lost one game and he wanted to get me to win him for the sake of Japan's reputation in NetGo?"

"Hm. And now you're the one everyone finds to deal with Go emergencies?"

"Rather than you, you mean? You think it's so easy, being dragged off to play Go at the drop of a hat? There's an art to it!"

"An art?"

"Well, okay. A minor art, then."