Ok, got a review for this story, reread it, read some of the reviews, and decided to write a sequel thing for it. Back by popular demand! This time it's from Hikaru's point of view! It's a bit sadder than the first one. Hopefully some of you are still checking back every once in awhile and will get to read this….
Lemme know what you think! Please and thank you!
Hikaru sighed and rubbed his hands together. Winter was tapering off, but there was still snow on the ground and the air was still really cold. He leaned against the wall behind him and glanced at the large building to his right. A Go Institute.
He'd been secretly taking Go lessons here for a few months now. Akira's father had died only a month after Akira found him again, so Akira had been taken into the world of business, Go, and chess. Whenever he got the chance, Akira had Hikaru over for lunch or dinner or whatever. Hikaru had taught Akira basic card games (I mean, who doesn't know Go Fish, right?) and introduced him to a few easy video games and manga series, but they never really got a chance to have fun outside the Touya family home. Akira was just…too busy.
So Hikaru thought, perhaps a bit vainly, that if he learned to play the same games as Akira that they could hang out more that way. His instructor at the Institute told him he was a fast learner and wow, did he have a great mind. The man called Hikaru a 'natural' but Hikaru still felt miles behind Akira.
Akira was in the Institute right now, playing a title match. It was the day of the last game to decide the winner of the title. Hikaru hadn't paid enough attention to know which title Akira was going for, but he knew it was something Akira's father had once held. Strange, in only a year, Akira was already a brilliant businessman, held several titles in Go, and had won several chess championships. He was absolutely amazing.
Hikaru's cheeks flushed and he looked at the sky. Oh, what would Akira think if he knew Hikaru thought that way? If he knew Hikaru spent his entire day at the shelter wishing he was by Akira's side? If he knew Hikaru wanted to spend the rest of his life with him? If he knew Hikaru thought he was hot, gorgeous, beautiful? Oh what would he think?
Hikaru jumped when something wet hit his cheek and brought his gaze down from the sky to see Akira standing next to him with a small squirt bottle. "Hey!" Hikaru shouted indignantly.
Akira looked mildly amused but also a bit bored. "Bad cat," he said. "You'll catch a cold out here in the snow wearing that."
Hikaru flushed again and looked down at his deep blue t-shirt and jeans. Yea, he was dressed for a warmer season, so what? "I'm not wearing a jacket, so what? It's getting warmer every day."
Water hit his face straight on that time and Hikaru spluttered as he wiped it off. The amusement was fading slowly from Akira's features. "Bad. Its not 'so what'. I don't want you getting sick." He motioned away. "Come on, let's go." He didn't ask why Hikaru was there, he just accepted it and moved on.
Hikaru frowned and it came off looking like a pout. Akira was already walking away. Hikaru shoved his hands in his jean pockets and followed sullenly after. This was their relationship. Akira had his life, Hikaru had his. They hung out when they could. Hikaru would show up where Akira was randomly, and Akira would take him home so they could do whatever together. And that damn squirt bottle! Akira sprayed Hikaru whenever Hikaru did something he didn't like or he thought was bad. It was like he was training a pet! And that's why Hikaru was frowning.
He'd been so happy when Akira found him again after so many years. He'd loved the pet name 'kitten' that Akira had given him. But now…now he was worried that Akira really only saw him as a pet, a cat.
Just outside of Akira's house, Hikaru heard a shout and stopped, looking toward a house across the street with a wall around it – just like Akira's – and a black metal gate. Behind the gate was a sleek grey cat that was staring at him. "Hey!" the cat yelled again.
Hikaru gaped. He glanced at Akira and then ran over to the house. "Sai?" he asked quietly, his shock showing through.
The cat grinned. "I thought that was you, Hikaru!" he cheered childishly. "You're still with that young man, I see."
Hikaru frowned but managed to get a small smile back just after. "Yea. He's busy a lot of the time, but we hang out just the same."
"What's the matter?" Sai asked, sitting back on his hind legs and wrapping his tail around himself. He tilted his head curiously. "You were so happy when he found you."
"I am," Hikaru assured him with a nod. "I am happy. It's just that sometimes, every once in awhile, I just feel like his pet instead of his friend."
"Hikaru," Sai chastised. "You could never be a pet! You're much too large!"
Hikaru laughed outright at that. A footstep sounded just behind him and then, "Hikaru?" Hikaru looked behind him, as did Sai, to see Akira giving him a curious look. "What are you doing?"
"Oh," Hikaru let out, stopping his laughter a bit abruptly. "I was talking with Sai. He's the kitten I'd found the day you showed up in the shelter." He motioned to the grey cat now licking his front paws.
Akira grinned. "Is he now? Looks like he found a good home." He knelt down next to Hikaru by the gate.
"Indeed I did," Sai agreed with a nod. "I'm never hungry and they have children around all the time: grandchildren, great grandchildren, friends of children. I get played with all the time!"
Hikaru smiled. Akira looked at him with a question in his eyes and Hikaru translated. "He said he has a lot of food to eat and lots of children to play with, so he's really happy."
Akira's expression turned nostalgic. "Mmm…That does sound fun." There was a moment of silence in which Hikaru and Sai just stared at Akira and then Akira shook his head. "We should move. I wouldn't want Mrs. Hempburn thinking I'm trying to steal her cat." He stood and offered his hand to Hikaru. "Come on. Maria's making tea."
"Right," Hikaru agreed, taking Akira's hand and standing up. He waved at Sai. "See you later, Sai!"
"Bye, Hikaru! Have fun!" Sai called out, placing his front paws on the gate and standing on his hind legs only. He looked kind of like a little person doing that and it made Hikaru smile.
They were inside drinking tea and eating little snacks when Hikaru decided it was about time he told Akira his secret. "So, Akira," he began, nervously fiddling with his tea cup. "I started taking Go lessons a little while ago."
Akira was instantly interested. "You did? That's great! When?" He smiled.
Hikaru scratched the back of his neck with a smile. "Actually, about three months ago…just before Christmas." He dropped his hand to the table top. "I thought, maybe if I could play Go, we could play together some time." He held Akira's gaze the whole time, but he was so nervous!
Akira regarded him with a different sort of interest. "We could…play a game right now," he suggested, glancing away to the room where he kept his Go stuff. "I could see how well you play and maybe teach you a bit."
Hikaru beamed. "That'd be great. I'd love to. Let's do it!" he cheered.
A half an hour later and the game was over. Akira had won by a landslide. Hikaru set his chin in his hand and idly messed with the stones in his bowl while Akira explained where he'd gone wrong. It was just like at the Institute…still, he'd never really felt this defeated before.
"Hikaru, are you listening?" Akira accused.
Hikaru jumped to attention and nodded. "Yes! Of course I am! I understood everything you just said," he declared proudly.
Akira narrowed his eyes. "Do I have to go get the squirt bottle?" he asked lowly.
Hikaru narrowed his eyes too. "What is it with you and that squirt bottle? Do you get some sort of sick pleasure from squirting me with water all the time?"
Akira shook his head and tapped his fingers on the board. "No. But I told you I would train all the bad habits out of my kitten, didn't I?" It was a tease. Hikaru knew it was a tease. It still hurt.
He stood up abruptly. "I'm not a pet!" he shouted. Akira jumped in shock and Hikaru gave him a withering glare. "I'm a person," he said at a much softer level. "I'm a person and I just wanted to….Oh never mind!" Without explaining himself, Hikaru turned and left the room, left the house, and went home.
"I'm home!" Hikaru announced when he walked through the door, toeing off his shoes.
"Welcome back!" His mother called from the kitchen. "Dinner will be ready soon, ok?"
"Yea, sure." He hurried up the stairs and into his room and then collapsed on his bed. "Augh!" he yelled into his pillow.
Why had he done that? He knew Akira was teasing! He knew! Akira was always teasing about the fact that had brought them together. He knew the water bottle was just Akira's joking way of looking out for him, for his best interests. Yet…he wanted to be a person to Akira. He had very little hope of ever becoming something special to Akira, something more than a friend. But that hope became null when he considered the fact that maybe Akira only saw him as a pet, or even slightly saw him as a pet. A boy liking another boy was bad enough, a person having romantic feelings for an animal….that was even worse.
Still, he shouldn't have shouted like that. Akira didn't deserve to be shouted at. Akira was a kind person. Hikaru was selfish.
A week passed without Hikaru seeing Akira. He sneaked around the Go Institute to go to his classes and tried to avoid Touya Corp and Akira's house as best he could. He even kinda feared going in to work at the shelter with Akari because Akira might show up there looking for him.
Oops. That's exactly what happened eight days after Hikaru's little outburst.
"There ya go," Hikaru said soothingly as he set a little orange tabby cat back in her cage. "You did very well, Sarah," he complimented.
Sarah shivered in her cage and gave a small sneeze but managed a little kitten smile. She'd been filthy when the woman had brought her in, all covered in fleas and mud and all manner of other gunk. The woman had found her wandering outside a McDonald's during her lunch break and had brought her here. Sarah was so frightened that Hikaru had barely managed to get her name out of her. Now clean and flea free, she looked much better and so much cuter.
"Thank you," she murmured out.
Hikaru smiled. "No problem. You just rest up in here and let me know if you need anything, ok?"
She nodded and set her head down on her little paws. "Uh-huh."
The smile still in place, Hikaru softly shut the cage door and meandered back out into the main room. Most of the cats were dozing in the sun coming in through the big window in the far wall, and the ones that were awake weren't talking to him, so it was a pretty quiet day in the Cat Cottage. He'd barely entered the main area when he caught sight of Akira sitting in the waiting room.
"Ah!" he gasped and hid behind the wall.
"Hikaru," Akira nearly breathed out and Hikaru cursed. He'd been spotted. He heard Akira walk over but stayed hidden. "Hikaru, can we talk?"
Hikaru turned his head to face Akira as the other boy crossed the doorway and stood by him. Akira looked torn, almost broken. Hikaru felt his resolve shatter and sighed. "Sure. Come on," he motioned for Akira to follow him and took him to the break room. No one was in there right now. With the door shut behind them, Hikaru dropped into a seat and watched Akira take one across from him. The room was small so they were pretty close to each other either way. "So?"
Akira took a deep breath and locked eyes with Hikaru. "So, I don't know exactly what happened the other day." Hikaru blushed and broke eye contact to stare at the floor. "I just know that I somehow…hurt you. I'm sorry for that. I get the feeling that you think that I still think you're a cat."
Wow, say that five times fast, Hikaru thought.
"I don't. Not really," Akira assured him, his voice very soft. "I mean, I don't see you with fur and claws and I don't expect you to curl up and take naps in the sun or to meow or anything….But I do think you'll follow me to work and home and I do expect to feed you at my house and I want to play with you and spend all my free time with you." Akira sighed and Hikaru saw him put his elbows on his knees out of the corner of his eye. "I guess…I was being a bit too playful with the whole 'kitten' thing and not taking into account how that would make you feel."
"Yea," Hikaru broke in. "You kinda did." He turned his head to stare at Akira again. "I kept feeling like I was only a pet to you, something to entertain you when nothing else was going on and…and I wanted….I want to be more than that, a lot more than that," he admitted with a faint blush.
Akira smiled. "Me too," he agreed with a nod and moved to sit directly next to Hikaru. He placed a hand on Hikaru's right knee. "I never want to lose you, Hikaru. If it'll make you feel better, I'll stop referring to you as my pet kitten, ok?"
Hikaru grinned. "Well, I don't really mind the part where you call me 'kitten'…but if you could make the squirt bottle disappear, that'd be a good start. I'd feel less like a pet you're trying to train then."
Akira pat Hikaru's knee. "Hikaru, you are not a pet I'm trying to train." He grinned like he'd just heard a good joke and then said, "You're much too big for that."
Hikaru laughed and leaned forward to hide his face in his legs as he continued to giggle. When he felt he could talk, several long moments later, he sat up a bit and looked at Akira. "Are…are you sure you can't talk to animals?" he asked between his giggles. He snorted at the look of utter confusion on Akira's face.
Thoughts? Comments? Reviews?