Title: Friendly Rivals
Series: Hikaru no Go
Author: Luce Red
Disclaimer: Characters are property of Hotta and Obata, Shueisha, Jump and their affiliated parts.
Notes/pairings: Non-explicit HikaAkira/AkiHika, gratuitous Japanese, overuse of ellipsis.
Written for the “Rivals” Challenge. Crossposted to igo_yaoi
The battle was over. Shindou Hikaru and Touya Akira sat on opposite ends of the Go board, each collecting their stones deftly, before standing up and leaving the room together. The audience, which had stood motionless for nearly two hours, finally regained its wits and rushed after them.
When the room had nearly emptied out, two of the remaining insei glanced at one another.
“See, I told you Touya-san was the better player,” the fifteen-year-old boy said.
“Are you crazy?” Another boy, slightly younger, retorted. “Didn’t you see that hand Shindou-san played to cut Touya-san’s shape? It killed that group of stones within five hands!”
“But Touya-san countered and managed to revive them. He’s incredible!”
“Well, Shindou-san is just as good... No, he’s better. He’s a genius!”
The two of them looked at each other. “We’ll never be able to play like them, not in a million years,” the first boy said.
“Yeah… I guess it’s true that they’re rivals. Did you see the way they played?”
“I heard that they’ve been rivals since Shindou-san was an insei.”
“Well, I’ve heard that they’ve been rivals since they were in elementary school.”
A snort. “I heard that Touya-san joined the Kaio Go Club just so he could play with Shindou-san.”
A louder snort. “I heard that Shindou-san became a pro so that he could chase after Touya-san.”
Narrow-eyed glare. “I heard that Touya-san beats Shindou-san when they play at his father’s salon.”
Narrow-eyed glare, plus clenched fists. “I heard that Shindou-san teaches Touya-san to play Go.”
“I’m right, dammit!” Clenched fists, and standing up
“No, I’m right!” Standing up in return.
Footsteps treading lightly into the room. “Quit it, you two!”
“Oh, hi, Nase-san,” the first boy said, letting his arms fall to his sides with a sheepish look.
“I came to ask you to go to the post-game discussion, and I find you squabbling over Shindou and Touya’s rivalry? Do you want to go to the discussion or not?”
“Will Touya-san be there?”
“Will Shindou-san be there?”
The two questions were asked simultaneously.
Nase glanced at them, then chuckled. “Yes. But they won’t stay long. I think they plan on having a rematch in private later.”
“I bet Touya-san wins.”
“No, moron. I bet Shindou-san wins.”
“You realize, next year will be our last time at the Wakajisen,” Touya said.
“And thank goodness,” Shindou said, a note of fervent relief in his voice. He flopped down on the futon next to him, his arms outstretched.
Touya glanced at him. The post-game discussion had taken so long that by the time it ended, Shindou was swaying visibly on his feet. Touya had promptly suggested that Shindou go home with him, since his parents were visiting relatives in Hokkaido, an offer Shindou was more than happy to accept. He stayed over often enough, anyway, especially when they were helping each other to prepare for a major game.
“Come on,” Shindou said as he caught his glance, “You can’t honestly tell me that you aren’t glad that we won’t be playing there anymore. I mean, the crowd today was insane! You do realize that we’re Go players, not pop stars?”
“They were there to watch you play, you ungrateful lump,” Touya chided.
“They were also there to watch you play, oh-mighty-boy-genius,” Shindou said, stretching his limbs. His arm fell carelessly on Touya’s feet. “They’re already saying that you could be the next Meijin.”
“That remains to be seen.” He tried, without much effort, to shake Shindou’s arm off. “I still have to prepare for the game with Yamaguchi-san next week.”
“Better you than me,” Shindou groaned. “I’ve been playing so many games these few weeks that it feels like my head is spinning.” He glared at Touya half-heartedly. “Don’t tell me you don’t feel the same way. How on earth does the Institute arrange these games anyway? My schedule isn’t fit to look at, and I know yours is even worse.”
“It’s been a busy time, yes,” Touya said.
Shindou heaved an exaggerated sigh and—before Touya could protest—and put his head on Touya’s lap. “Shindou!”
“Move to your own side!” He pushed ineffectually at Shindou, who responded with about as much animation as a beached whale.
“But I’m…” Shindou paused to yawn widely. “I’m too tired to move. Lie down, Akira. Don’t just sit there. You make me tired just to look at you.”
“Oh, bother,” Touya gave up and lay down, with Shindou’s head still on his lap.
After a while, Shindou lifted his head off Touya's lap, scrabbling into a more comfortable position by his side and sharing Touya's pillow. "Are we getting old, Akira?" he asked. "I’m only seventeen, you know.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. If you’re getting old, then I must be, too. I’m the same age as you. I admit that the last few weeks have been rather trying, but… Hikaru, if you keep doing that, I'm not going to be convinced that you're tired."
Shindou removed his hand from the inside of Touya's shirt, but left it on his chest just the same. "I heard that the insei thought I came back here with you because we were going to have a rematch."
"That's not surprising. They know we're rivals."
"Even players in China and Korea know that we're rivals. Suyon teases me about it each time I see him."
“How long have we been rivals, Shindou?”
“Five years. I think. From the time we first played. Unless you’re counting from the time we were pros?”
“From the time we first played, definitely. That was why I began chasing after you.”
“Well, I began to chase after you at about the same time. It’s been five years already?" Shindou snagged an edge of a blanket and pulled it up over them.
Touya turned his head to face Shindou, his eyes curious. "Do you think we can continue to be rivals?"
"Why not?" Without thinking about it, Shindou wrapped an arm around Touya's shoulders and yawned into his neck.
"We're also sleeping together," Touya said, shifting into the embrace, but intent on getting to the end of the conversation.
"So? We can multi-task."
"Is that what you think this is?" He squirmed as Shindou's fingers slipped inside his underwear.
"A-ki-ra," Shindou said, his eyes closed with concentration. "We decided we were going to be lifelong rivals when we were twelve. Sleeping together isn't that much of a change."
"Really." It was getting a little hard to think. "Hikaru!" he gasped.
"Sorry, a little fast there. Let's try this..."
Afterwards, they lay together, still panting lightly, hands firmly clasped together. "So, by your reasoning, it's natural for us to do this because we were rivals in the first place?" Touya asked.
"We are rivals. And I'm going to win the rematch tomorrow, just you wait." And Shindou sounded almost as belligerent as he did before a Go board.
Touya stifled a chuckle. "Goodnight, Hikaru."