I've kept this fic for some time now. I just never got around to finishing it. Well here it is now. I really hope you all enjoy my very first Hikaru no Go fic! ^_^
I don't own Hikaru no Go manga/anime so don't sue.
Please review. Let me know how I did on my first Hikaru fic
Also please check out Banzaikon (dot) org I'll be there in Nov. Hope to see you there!
"Sai!" I woke up instantly with a gasping yell. I sat straight up in my bed and searched my room in vain. Five years had passed, and even though I finally understood, I still couldn't forget Sai.
The street sounds filtered into the room through the wide open window. The curtain fluttered with the wind and the trees swayed with it. Shindou Hikaru pulled the sheets over his head and turned to face his pillow. It was late, almost noon, but for someone who had just ended a three month tournament it was far too early.
He'd lost, but not by much. The discussion had lasted much longer than the last game. It had been a tough match. He'd held his fan close and yet his sleep deprived mind couldn't reach for the moves. He wanted to blame it on the fact that he'd gotten no sleep, but Shindou knew his strength wasn't there yet. He had potential to grow, but he wasn't near the divine move. He wasn't near Sai yet.
Sai again. It was because of Sai that he'd been missing sleep. It wasn't just a recent development. It had been ongoing for the past weeks and slowly developing into a self induced insomnia. The dream kept returning and every time Shindou woke up he felt worse and worse. He longed to play. He'd wake up and set up a board for himself. It was the only way to keep the loneliness that had been invading his mind from overtaking him. The longest he'd spent playing had been three days. He'd spent them in his hotel room eating in and alternating from study to internet go. He'd woken up curled up under the bed surrounded by go stones a whole day later.
His sleeping habits were getting worse by the day. They'd gotten so bad even Touya Akira had noticed the last time they'd met at the usual go salon. That had been before it had become a nightly ritual to stay awake for as long as his mind would let him.
"I'm leaving!" He was leaving again. I knew he would be back eventually, but this time something else was bothering him. Had I gotten too close? Did this really have to do with Sai?
"Shindou! Wait! I'm sorry. It wasn't my place to-"
"Damn right it isn't your place!" Shindou rushed towards the door and ran past his purple messenger bag. He'd left it. If it was a silent invitation or not, Touya didn't care. He took the bag and threw it over his shoulder before walking out behind Shindou.
Touya wasn't running. He knew Shindou would be at the park near his house. He always went there when he was really upset. Touya had only seen him that upset twice before. The first time was when he officially signed off of girls for the rest of his pro career after seeing his girlfriend in a delicate act with another man. The second Touya wasn't sure what had caused it, but he had been there for Shindou to yell at and cry on after the insults ended. He'd sure as hell be there today. His rival wouldn't drop out of their fight just because life had gotten in the way once again.
"Shindou-kun-" Touya reached the park faster than he had anticipated. Shindou was sitting at the very top of the slide and for a second he imagined a younger Shindou laughing as he slid down the metal slab.
"Touya -" Shindou slid down lifelessly. He dragged his way towards Touya, picking up dust on the way. Touya was ready for the yelling and insults that were to come. "Akira, lets go to my house." Shindou walked by and started making his way through the empty streets.
"Hikaru-" The name was whispered - a precious breath of air. Akira sped up and eventually was walking side by side with Hikaru. It must have been time. Hikaru had promised. He'd said one day Akira would know. He could only hope that day had come at last.
Shindou couldn't possibly pretend he was asleep any longer. He couldn't even fool himself into falling asleep again. The darkness that provided his body with the only comfort wouldn't come willingly. Instead, at every moment in his normal sleep he saw Sai.
Always Sai. He was always waiting on the other side of his eyelids. He was always there amongst the clouds like an angel - like a god. Shindou shook his head. He couldn't start the day like that. He couldn't. He wouldn't.
His sudden decision hurt his eyes as he blinked them open and threw the sheet against the wall. The crisp blankets made enough noise as they were thrown off of the bed that the birds fluttered quickly from the trees. Shindou felt more discomfort and not just from the bright sunlight. He looked down at his shorts and realized he'd fallen asleep with go stones in his bed once again. On the bright side he was wearing clothes this time .
He had other things to think about. He would do as Akira had said. He would try to occupy his mind with other things and the day would go by faster and sleep would come. He was moving after all. It had taken him long enough to prove to his mother that go was an actual career. Now he was leaving the over protective nest and taking a home of his own. He'd made enough to actually own a decent home. He should be out celebrating and packing. He should buy furniture and - perhaps he would buy a vase. A vase like the one that Sai had liked at that shop. Yes, he would go buy one. It would be perfect to keep his mind occupied as Akira had said.
Sai would also appreciate his good taste.
"A ghost?" Akira pushed around a stone on the carpet of Hikaru's floor. They could have played a game, but instead Hikaru had wanted his full attention.
"Yes." Hikaru had already explained everything about Sai at least five times. He hadn't even gotten to what was bothering him, but Akira still didn't understand.
"So, I was right." He finally said after minutes of hesitation.
"Yes." Hikaru stopped the stone from moving which forced Akira to look up. "You don't think I'm crazy, do you?"
"No." Akira pulled the stone from Hikaru and placed it back in to the case. "So, what is bothering you then? Does Sai want to play more?" Akira kept looking at the air around Hikaru as if trying to find the spirit who had been there all along. He searched for reflections of light or sound, but none were to be found. "Sai?" He finally dared to ask while staring at the door behind Hikaru's head.
"Akira, Sai is-" Hikaru couldn't even say it anymore. He was there for a reason. His reason was done. He had left. Hikaru was all that was left of Sai, but it wasn't enough! "Sai is- He -" Hikaru couldn't take it anymore. He broke down in tears again. The dream just wouldn't go away. The memory wouldn't leave him and the feelings were tearing him apart. His blonde hair could hardly cover his heavy tears.
"Hikaru, Sai isn't here right now is he?" Akira didn't think Hikaru had even heard the end of his sentence. A loud heart wrenching sob escaped Hikaru and the tears came steadily down his cheeks. His shoulders shook and his head was at a shameful bow. His tears sparkled against the go stones that were scattered about the room. What kind of relationship had Sai and Hikaru had? What kind of man was Sai?
Shindou shook his head. He'd buy a table.
Akira approached Hikaru before taking him into a rare hug. The tears seeped through his thin dress shirt quite easily. The shuddering breaths moved him as much as they shook Hikaru. It wasn't until Hikaru stopped moving that Akira realized Hikaru was asleep and had been for quite some time. As Akira lifted Hikaru to his bed he noticed that the tears were still leaving his sleeping eyes.
"Did you love him?" Akira asked the air around him. He brushed his hair back and began collecting the many go stones into their containers. The least he could do was wait for Hikaru to wake up.
After a few hours Shindou realized he'd never be able to purchase furniture without a partner. He should look for Akira. He would help him.
While Hikaru slept Akira heard many things. Amongst them was Sai's name whispered softly between murmurs. This memory that haunted Hikaru wouldn't leave that easily. Akira wanted to make sure the memory would become simply that. Hikaru would forget the pain and soon move on. Maybe he'd move on and after everything he'd save a little space for-
"Sai!" Hikaru yelled and sat up immediately. His eyes were still red and obviously he had forgotten once again where he was.
Akira stood up and looked around nervously. Perhaps it was then that their friendship changed.
Hikaru stood at the door. He waited for Akira patiently while he thought of what he wanted his new home to look like.
"Hi." Akira said as he closed the door behind him and fixed his jacket. "What was so urgent you pulled me away from a game with my father?" He asked
"I need furniture." Hikaru answered as if that were dire.
Akira smiled. It had been one of his suggestions for Hikaru to get back into his own life. He nodded as he led the way to the subway. "Sounds like fun."
The day didn't go as planned. It was a lot better than that. Furniture was purchased, but much more was obtained. As they walked through the shops they found themselves bumping into each other more often than not. The same discreet looks continued and eventually they stopped walking and took a seat at an ice cream shop.
Hikaru looked at Akira as he brought over two cones. He took one and then looked away. He had fun that day. How could he ignore living in the moment when the past was only filled with pain? The clouds came close and turned into beautiful swirling greys. The rain would soon come. Hikaru urged Akira to leave as his thoughts continued. Sai was gone. He wasn't going to return. That part of his life was over. As he dropped Akira off at his home he knew that the next part of his life was just beginning.
The walk back home was filled with sadness. The sky cried with me as I finally mourned for Sai. Sai was no more. The past was ending and a new beginning would come. As the thoughts manifested in my head the cool wind of the cloudy day blew. It was refreshing and a sign. The cleansing smell reminded me of all the good things to come. It wouldn't all end with Sai. It would only begin from this day forward and all that would be left of Sai would be a beautiful memory.