Shindou Hikaru forfeited several matches in a row before Waya became not just concerned, but a little angry. He knew the other new pro had the house to himself, and a small part of his mind wondered if his friend had gotten terribly ill and no one had bothered to check up on him.
So when his knocks went unanswered, Waya jimmied the lock and went inside fearlessly. He smelled something odd on his way to Hikaru's room – water and metal, copper maybe. His appalling discovery in the bathroom made the reason clear.
"…What's your emergency?" the hotline worker asked boredly.
"My friend is lying in a bathtub filled with bloody water," Waya said shakily. He felt for Hikaru's hands, Waya's sleeves soaking in the pink water. There was only one reason to sit like this in a tub. "I-it l-looks like he cut his wrists."
"Where are you? Can you feel a pulse?"
As he told the man the address, Waya searched for the pulse-point on Hikaru's neck. "H-hai, there's a pulse," he sighed, extremely relieved.
"I need you to get him out of the tub. Try to wrap his wrists, to stop up the bleeding. Are there any other injuries?"
"I can't tell – th-the water…"
"Get him out of the tub, but try not to drain it if you can avoid it. There will probably be an investigation. If he's too big for you to move, though, you should help him as quickly as you can, even if it means getting rid of the water."
"Right," Waya said firmly. He set the phone down on the counter and lifted Hikaru out of the bath. He didn't worry about the weight. Hikaru had always been small – short and thin, both. Now, though, his body seemed wasted with hunger. He was wearing swimming clothes, Waya noted with a frantic sense of relief. Hikaru wouldn't want his friend to see him naked, especially not like this.
"What do I do now?" he asked the worker.
"Um, pressure…– no, wrap the injuries. But bind them tightly."
"How could you do this," Waya muttered, even as he wrapped towels around Hikaru's wrists, binding them tightly with belts. "Your poor mother. Don't you ever think of others, Hikaru?"
Hikaru, of course, didn't answer.
Ten nerve-wracking minutes in an ambulance, four hours in a waiting room as Hikaru's friends slowly trickled in, and three days of hearing nothing, nothing, nothing. Finally, they were told Hikaru was awake. Waya and Fujisaki Akari were the first to see him; other than Touya Akira, no one had come to the hospital so often for news on Hikaru. And Akira had an unavoidable match.
"Hi…karu?" Waya greeted questioningly. The bleach-banged pro was playing – or reconstructing – a game on a magnetic travel Go board. "You forfeit five matches in a row to slit your wrists and you finally start playing on your sick bed?!" he exclaimed in disbelief. Akari was stunned by his lack of tact.
Hikaru looked down. "They said you found me. I'm sorry you had to see that. I'm glad you found me, though, because as I realized I was dying, I also realized I was an idiot."
"Finally," commented Waya, disgruntled.
"A little over a week ago, I thought I lost someone forever, someone who was closer to me than even I knew. But now I know I haven't lost this person after all," he said fiercely, a fire in his eyes Waya only ever saw when Hikaru was playing Go. "And besides that, I have everyone here to live for, and the Divine Move to accomplish," he added as an afterthought.
"Aaaah, you arrogant brat!" Waya shook his head.
Hikaru smiled at Waya. "You saved my life. Thank you, very much. I am in your debt."
"You better believe it," Waya said, only slightly smug. "Just…don't do that again?" he requested softly.
"Oh, Hikaru!" Akari exclaimed, finally giving up on etiquette and sitting on his bed. "I was so worried!" She rested her head on his shoulder, and he patted her awkwardly.
But his eyes never left Waya until she let him go. Akari was forced out by the nurse early, but Waya got to stay a few extra moments – long enough to see Hikaru easily place one stone and concentrate on the next move. He even caught a glimpse of the game and knew the side Hikaru was concentrating on was playing with his style, while the other was more advanced.
Definitely a recreation, then. Possibly against a pro, considering how in-depth the game was. Something about the opponent's style niggled at Waya, but he ignored it, wondering instead why Hikaru remembered his opponent's moves better than his own…perhaps he was contemplating ways to improve the game.
Yes, Waya thought. That must be it.
If Shindo seemed to fix his eyes every now and then at a spot near his bed, Waya didn't notice.
A/N: if anyone's wondering, yes, Sai came back. I don't have any serious plans to continue this, but I might if the mood strikes me some day.