Title: Snapshots
Rating: PG
Summery: Because I've recently read one or two Hikago-fics and as much as I love AkiHika, I miss Sai so desperately and also the bond between Sai and Hikaru.

Hikaru no longer swims

Hikaru no longer swims. In elementary school Hikaru was not the star of the swim team, though he could have made the cut if he had wanted to try out, but his sport of choice had been soccer and his teachers never pushed him to choose another. Sai was uncomfortable around large rivers and lakes and the sea, but the school pool had never bothered the ghost too much after Hikaru explained that there were lifeguards to make sure no one ever drowned.

Sai hated the thought of drowning. He had the right to be a bitter about it, since it was how he had died. And he was scared for Hikaru whenever he was near the water, lifeguards or not. Hikaru never understood that when he was young, but he understood more when he got older and thought back on the topic.

But Hikaru doesn't swim any more; it reminds him of Sai and how Sai died. Now he's the one that's bitter in the place of the thousand year old ghost who's no longer there. He never takes the swimming elective in school and he avoids getting into the water in the summer. He doesn't go on beach trips with his friends anymore, usually saying he had a game or he was going to practice with some kifu.

Hikaru's aversion to water bodies is unnoticed. Somehow, he's learned to be convincing when he lies - but he doesn't think about that either, because that reminds him of Sai again. He smiles and laughs, and blows a raspberry when they push him and they roll their eyes and let him go away with his rudeness.

He has tearstains on his cheeks as he sleeps.

He has tearstains on his cheeks as he sleeps. Touya stands above Shindou, staring down at the boy who slept over at his large lonely house as his parents were away on a trip to China. Shindou does not move, or struggle like he is in a nightmare, or scrunch his face up in worry, or murmur any names or nonsensical words. But Shindou has tearstains drying on his cheeks and Touya knows it is never as easy as he thinks it is.

Shindou is still, his chests moves almost soothingly up and down in deep sleep, if not for the remnants of the salty water droplets, shining in the moonlight, Touya would not be bothered at all.

When will Someday come, Touya wondered, and when it comes, would it be worth it.

who broke your heart

" What do you know about love!?" She shouted.

And with those words Hikaru's eyes become hard and deep. Akari with tears flowing down her cheeks and body blazing a moment ago with the injustice that had swallowed her now takes a mental step backwards. Hikaru who had always seemed so oblivious and focused only on his go, now his eyes are deep and dark and sees things that maybe they shouldn't have had to yet.

" I know it's not about selfishness. Or it shouldn't be." Hikaru's words are bitter. He looks off to the side and stares at the children running around in the park.

The sandbox. This is where they use to play when they were 4 years old.

The swings. This is where Akari first learned how it felt to fly with Hikaru pushing from behind.

The slide. This is where Hikaru first learned what it was to fall and tumble, scraping knees and elbows.

The little pebble lying on the ground that was about the same size of a Go stone. This is where memories end up.

" He just got up and left." Akari chokes out about her boyfriend who had disappeared this morning back to the American homeland where he had came from. " He didn't even tell me."

" Then follow him." The girl snaps up her head and stares at her childhood friend, whom some time ago she had been interested romantically but he had never reciprocated. The words had been spoken in a calm, cool tone, like he was telling her about he weather. 'The sky is blue.' 'The clouds are nice today.' 'If he left, then just follow him.'

But the emeralds are shadowed and the mysterious pain (how could she have ever missed it) from that time a few years ago, is still starkly there, surrounding him, engulfing him.

" At least he's alive." The words are soft, controlled. " As long as he's alive, and you're alive, what's stopping you?"

At the end the young Go professional turns and walks back towards the stone path, which will take them home.

She wonders when had it happened. Hikaru had been smaller than her once, but that was a long time ago, and he grew taller, wider, and stronger then her. Wiser too, in the way of how life worked. But his broad shoulders, which always seemed like it could block out the rest of the world as he walked away from her (so many times), seems so small and fragile now and she wonders when had she stopped noticing that he was still the same tiny immature Hikaru who need her to remind him to do his homework, pick up his dirty clothes from the floor, return his library books, hand in his assignments, and not to get into fights with bullies. Still the same Hikaru who needed companionship and protection - but not by her.

But by someone - someone who wasn't here anymore.

" Who broke your heart Hikaru?" She whispered watching his small back disappear down the road.