Categories > Anime/Manga > Hikaru no Go

A Trail of Surprises

by Saori31 1 Reviews

A different look at Touya Akira's life. One shot.

Category: Hikaru no Go - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Romance - Characters: Akira - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2005/09/24 - Updated: 2005/09/24 - 9772 words

A Trail of Surprises


"I want to molest your son!"

And this was how a seven-year old Touya Akira ended up in the same futon as some teenage girl. You've got to give him credit for not crying or bawling as this stranger of a girl straddling his waist and starring down at him from a higher place. Touya Akira tried to put on a calm and collected face for the situation, but instead, he found himself wanting to cry more and more. However, he can't! He just can't! Akira shook his head mentally. His father had taught him that a man should never cry; especially not in front of a woman.

But... but... she looks so scary.

And soon, those words seem to be hanging off a very thin thread, one blink and they're all gone. And finally, Akira let in. He closed his eyes and tears whelmed up, he was sure that some of them had already rolled down his cheeks. Through the mist of being scared, and wanting to cry openly, he felt something warm and moist touch his cheek and dried away his tears.

Cracking open an eye, he saw an enlarged face. The strange girl is kissing away his tears. He doesn't know whether he should cry more at the contact or push her away. So he remained still. After a minute, the girl pulled back from his face and looked down at him. His teal orbs met with her teal ones, it's a surprise that both of them have the same eye color.

"You're so cute." The girl said at length. Definitely not something Akira expected, but his cheeks flushed none the less. Then with a huff, the girl flipped off of him and laid down next to him on her back. The two of them just looked up at the ceiling. Akira clearly felt the difference between him and this girl; not only in height, but everything else as well. Turning his head, he looked at her profile shyly and remembered her declaration earlier on.

"You..." He started and realized that his mouth is dry. "You aren't going to molest me?"

The girl snapped her head around to face him with wide eyes, and once again his face flushed in crimson. After a moment of observation, the girl smiled, and appeared very amused. She then turned side ways and propped her body up with an elbow on the floor. Once again, she's looking down at him from a higher place.

"Do you even know what molest means?"

Akira blinked and blinked and slowly he shook his head from side to side. This earned a round of laughter from the girl as she threw her head back and laughed whole-heartedly. "You're nothing like your father, I like that!" Her laughter continued as if she found the most amusing scene in the world. For the entire time, Akira just starred up at her, still thinking how strange she is.

"Though, your father is a very noble man." She stopped laughing, but a smile remained on her face when she turned and looked back down at him again. "Did you know that?" She tapped the tip of his nose gently a couple of times before tapping her chin with that finger as well. "The whole reason why your father would allow me to 'molest' his beloved son is because I saved his life."

Akira's eyes widened. She saved his father's life? Then, should he thank her as well?

"Though, it was only an accident. It was definitely, a pure accident!" She nodded her head firmly with a frown on her face. As if she's trying to convince herself as well. The brain capacity of a seven year old does not know how to reply to this, and once again, he chose to remain silent. She then looked into his eyes again, and this time, her expression was gentle. Her fingers traced the shape of his eyes. "I like the color of your eyes."

"But our eyes have the same color." Akira pointed out the obvious mildly.

The girl blinked and blinked, and then she laughed again. This time, it's a quick giggle. She sat up and looked at him with bright eyes. Unconsciously, he sat up as well, slowly and carefully.

"I am Uchihaya Ayase, nice to meet you Akira-chan." She said cheerfully and held out a hand. Akira looked at her face and then looked at her out-stretched hand. He slipped his smaller hand into hers sheepishly and felt her hand tighten around his.

"Nice to meet you." He muttered out softly, his eyes curved downwards.

"You're seven, right?" Akira nodded. "I'm 10 years older than you; you can just call me Aya-oneechan." Akira nodded again. She was going to be his older sister. "And don't worry Akira-chan, I won't ever molest you."

This time, Akira's head snapped up and met her smiling one. Taking in the shocked and embarrassed look on his face, her mouth opened and once again, her laughter rang out in the room.

At the age of 7, Akira first met Uchihaya Ayase, a girl that labeled herself as his older sister. And immediately, Akira took notice of the fact that she likes to laugh.

She likes to laugh a lot.

***

At the age of 8, Touya Akira learnt what the word 'traumatized' means first hand.

It was Christmas Eve, where everyone would be cuddled up with their loved ones in front of a warm fireplace with a mug of coffee or hot chocolate in their hand. However, this year, Akira did not spend Christmas Eve with his family. He spent it with Uchihaya Ayase or Aya-oneechan as she likes to label herself to him. His father, greatest Go player of the era is off doing a friendly match with a pro player from another country. And his mother went along with him, saying that she was worried about his health. Even Ogata-san left with them, Akira was to spend Christmas alone.

Then Ayase showed up. It was like pure magic. Though, after the second of magic, she turned into a tornado. Before Akira could even comprehend the situation, he was already dressed and holding a bag in his hands. And off they went to her little apartment.

The apartment was small, but big enough for one girl to be living there. Maybe it's the Christmas season; the apartment appeared to be glowing in warmth. Akira thought as he held a mug of hot chocolate in his hands while sitting beside the Christmas tree. He watched the back view of Ayase as she dug out a few wrapped presents from underneath the tree.

Shouldn't he open his present on Christmas?

He had asked her that when she handed him the gift. She just giggled and patted his head saying that she can't wait for him to see her present for him. She said that it took her forever to find it. Then the microwave ringer went off, and she jumped up to run towards the kitchen. Akira retrieved his eyes from her and looked down at the present in his hands.

He feels bad.

He hasn't gotten her anything. It's not as if he didn't want to, it's just that he doesn't know what to get her. Then he gambled with the thought that she might have forgotten about him during this season of giving. Though, it seems like he doesn't escape her mind easily. Taking in a deep breath, his hands fumbled with the bow and the wrapping paper to slowly reveal her present.

What... what is this?

Akira's eyes were probably as large as dinner plates and his jaw slacked and nearly hit the ground. His hands shook around the present. It's a boxed present, but the front is see-through, so there's no hiding for anything on the inside. Akira felt his face grow hotter and hotter, and he swore you could boil water on top of his face.

This... thing.

It resembles what men should have. What he has. Only, it's larger, thicker, and not real.

"What... what is this?" Akira managed to choke out as his eyes are still on the present.

"What are you talking about? It's my present for y... aaahhh!"

Then, Ayase transformed into lightning and immediately what Akira held in his hands disappeared from his hands. It is now being stuffed down several layers of cloths and pillow. Ayase quickly threw something else at him that snapped his attention back to his hands again. "Thi... This is your present."

Taking in an even bigger breath, he torn the wrapping open and saw a collection of books. Picking up one, he read the title.

Matches of Honinbou Shuusaku

Then he flipped through the rest and they were all related to Honinbou Shuusaku. After who knows how long of starring at the books, he put his gratitude aside and looked up. He saw Ayase frowning at the pile of cloths and pillows that were hiding... the unspeakable thing. Then with one final movement, she swung herself up and sat on top of the pile. Then she smiled, satisfied with herself.

She brushed her hair back from her face and looked back at him. The teal orbs met again. "So, Akira-chan, did you like my present?"

Akira nodded slowly and hugged the books to his chest unconsciously. Ayase than gave him a sly smile and opened her arms wide. "Now, what do you do Akira-chan?"

Akira looked down and blushed again. This has been taught to him by her, and had been practiced many times, reluctantly on his part. Putting down the books gingerly, he crawled towards her and closed the short distance between them. He then reached out with both arms and hugged her around the waist. His head laid on her shoulder. "Thank you Aya-oneechan." He chirped quietly and his face is as red as the Christmas light.

Ayase then giggled again, Akira felt her breath tickling the side of his face.

Dong. Dong. Dong.

The clock made three loud sounds, indicating the arrival of Christmas, December the 25th. Akira felt her arms around him warmly and tightly. He then felt her lips on his head, pressing onto his hair.

"Merry Christmas, Akira-chan."

And that was his first Christmas with her.
***


At the age of 9, Akira had 'bound' Ayase to him.

"Awww! Is this the little brother you were talking about? He's absolutely adorable!" A group of girls giggled and starred at an uncomfortable Akira.

Serious thoughts of turning from the door and running away appeared his mind. This mass of girls are all pushing and shoving into the door way, trying to get a closer look at him. Some even took the liberty and reached out to ruffle his hair or pinch his cheeks. Akira stood there with a nervous smile and fear in his eyes.

Then his savior appeared.

Ayase swatted every one of those hands away and put an arm around his shoulder. He stands at the height of her chest and thus making it easy for her to hold him close to her. Her left arm is around him, her right arm is on her hip and she's glaring daggers at the girls.

"Keep your hands off of him!" Ayase commanded and pushed past the crowd to lead Akira into the apartment, which is now over-crowded with people.

It's her 19th birthday, and suddenly it's a huge deal to everyone.

"Come on Ayase! Don't spoil the fun, you should share!" There're some people in this world that are just too persistent.

"No!" Ayase turned and glared at the girl, her voice rising.

The crowd of girls was all silent; Akira peeked at them over his shoulder and through Ayase's arm. He then glanced at Ayase and bit his bottom lip. He has never seen her this stern before. Aside from the scary first meeting, she has been all smiles and laughter around him.

Slowly, the group of girls grimaced and trotted around to find some other source of entertainment. Akira felt her arm tighten around him and he was led to her bathroom, since her bedroom has been taken over by other girls. Once the door was closed, she leaned back onto it and sighed heavily.

"Seriously, they drive me crazy sometimes." Ayase murmured. Then she opened her eyes and smiled at Akira warmly. "Sorry about that, they can be a bit crazy. Don't worry; I'll protect you from now on." She said and made a warrior's stance, earning a laugh from Akira. She joined in and they just enjoyed this serene time.

"This is for you."

Ayase looked down at Akira's hands and saw a small, rectangle box. She grasped it and looked at him curiously. Akira turned his head away and blushed in scarlet.

"I... noticed that you like jewelry a lot, so..."

Ayase glanced at him and then opened the box. Her present is a silver ring, a very simple hoop. There're some flower patterns engraved on it. She picked it up and held it in her forefinger and her thumb. It's such a delicate ring. And it shone under the light of the bathroom, which is a rather dim light.

Ayase then opened her mouth and laughter rang out once more. "Akira-chan." He turned and looked at her. She put the ring on her right forefinger and fingered it with her left hand.

"Now you've bond me to you, I can never escape again." She said playfully and laughed at her own sentence. "Um... what do you say we call this our signature?"

"Signature?"

"Well, not exactly a signature." Ayase titled her head and looked up at the ceiling. "I'll always wear this on my right forefinger, so in case we ever get separated in the future, you can identify me from this ring." She then returned her gaze to him and smiled widely. "So, this is our signature, okay?"

Akira looked at her and looked back at the ring on her finger, then he smiled as well and nodded. Seeing his nod, Ayase laughed again and put the box onto the counter. She then leaned forwards and bent down so they're at the same level.

"Thank you, Akira-chan."

And once again, she kissed his forehead gently and wrapped her arms around him.
***

At the age of 10, Akira first saw a girl's tears.

"Why are you back so late?" Touya Akira's tone showed unhappiness.

And just as his voice rang out, the light in the room was turned off, leaving everything in the dark. Akira's eyes widened momentarily and his hold on his Go book tightened. She asked him to wait for her after she received a phone call from someone. And it's near mid-night and she just got back. On top of that, she's acting strange and crazy already.

Akira put down the Go book beside him on the bed, and slowly stood up. The darkness is blinding, this must be what it feels like to be a blind person. Not being able to see anything, but with one of your senses removed, your other senses increase dramatically. And his hearing did just that.

He heard shuffling of clothing and feet scraping across the wooden floor. "Ayase-san, why did you turn off the light?"

Then with a huff, a body was flung on him. The sudden impact made him lose balance as he sat back down onto the bed with her head on his shoulder, one of her arms draping down his shoulder, the other one around his waist. She draped and towered over him.

"Ayase-san?" His voice sounded alert.

In the dark, he felt a hand swat him gently. "Bad boy, what should you call me?"

Her voice sounded hoarse and as if she had a cold, her nose is probably stuffy. Her long hair piled against the side of his neck, and her hot breath drilled into his shoulder blade. She's so totally off.

"Aya-oneechan." He said quietly. And he is silently thankful that she can't see his blush in the darkness.

Then they were silent again.

The dual breathing sound was the only thing that rang in their ears. Ayase remained in her position and didn't even move an inch. Akira said there rigidly with a heavier body draped over him. Then, he felt hot breath on his cheek, and he realized that she's now looking at his profile.

"Akira-chan." She called out his name.

A strong smell of alcohol emitted from her mouth. Akira frowned almost immediately tried to look at her through the dark of the room. However, he was only able to make out her general shape.

"Are you drunk?" Akira asked carefully. She did not answer.

And they sat on again.

Then, he felt something warm drop onto the hallow spot in between his shoulder and neck. Then it trailed down and ended on his collar bone. It's hot and it's liquid, it's her tear.

"Aya-o...."

"Akira-chan." She suddenly tightened her hold on him; more drops of fluid hit him. "Akira-chan, you'll always be with me right?" He blinked and only knew how to blink. The tear and her outburst; one thing after another, he does not know how to handle them. "Akira-chan, you'll always be with me." It was no longer a question. "You cannot leave me. You cannot care for anyone else. You have to be with me. You have to be mine. You have to be mine only."

Her words were like lightning strikes, too quick and too dangerous to catch. Her tears are like the pouring rain, too quick to dodge. All he felt himself do was to nod his head several times, and then he heard her chuckle softly. He thought she was finished; he thought she was going to sleep. Who knew that she would go on about how he was to be with her forever, and how he was not to leave her, and how he was hers only... on and on.

In the dark night, Akira saw the downside in everyone; the vulnerable side. It wasn't until weeks later that he heard from one of her friends that her long term boyfriend had broken up with her on that night.

***
At the age of 11, Akira learnt of females' mood swings.

Ayase's eyebrows are knitted together so tightly that a fly could die in the folds. She's biting on her thumb nail, and her other hand is holding a Go stone. Her eyes are entirely focused on the Go board in front of her; even the constant wind couldn't break her out of her trance. A sweat slowly rolled down the side of her face.

Akira took his eyes off the Go board for a second and glanced at her tense face. He has started teaching her some things about Go, and she's already challenging him to a match. She didn't want a handicap; saying that she's 10 years older than him, having a handicap would be truly embarrassing. Akira just smiled and didn't have the heart to tell her that people 30 years older than him still ask him for handicaps.

Right now, she's death glaring the board into giving her some insight to a brilliant move that could possibly save her from this miserable state. The truth is, there's no way she could possibly come out and win this game. Even his father could not do it.

"Aaahh!"

Ayase let out a short screech and her hands flung out to knock all the Go stones away from the board. The black and white stones fell like rain drops onto the ground, creating rythumatic music momentarily. Ayase then sighed heavily and flopped back on her back. Akira glanced at the fallen stones, and then back down at her indecisively, not sure what he should do at a time like this.

"Akira-chan, clean it up." Ayase mumbled and turned over to her stomach.

Akira looked at her silently for a moment before moving around the sides of the Go board and collected all the abandoned stones. Setting the two containers full of Go stones beside him, he sat down again and looked at her. She's just starring outside at the bright day and the flowing sakura petals. She looks to be deep in thought with her hands separating the cold floor and her stomach.

Akira then turned back to the Go board and attempted to replay one of Honinbou Shuusaku's easier games. And the room was silent again except for the clicking sound of a Go stone meeting the wooden texture of the Go board. The two of them just stayed in the comfortable silence, not feeling awkward or tense.

Finally, Ayase groaned and laid her head down onto the ground as well. Akira paused in his game and looked at her curiously. She doesn't look so well, maybe she's sick or something. "Aya-oneechan." He called out softly, not wanting anyone else to catch those words escape his lips.

"Hmmm?" She hummed deep in her throat.

"Are you all right?"

Ayase vocalized a sigh and turned her head to look at him, her face is that of pain and fatigue. She looked at him for a moment longer before she thought of something. "Akira-chan, you don't go to school, do you?"

Akira blinked at the sudden change of topic but nodded to answer her question. "I'm home schooled, although, my father says that I can go to a Junior High School if I want to."

"Then you probably wouldn't know why I'm like this." Ayase waved her hand in front of her eyes lazily.

"Why not?" Akira was confused.

Ayase opened her mouth to give him an automatic response, but then, a glint skated across her eyes and she smiled slyly instead. Crawling over to where he is, she's still on her stomach. Her hands propelled her chin up so she can look up at Akira's face as they talked. Such a cute face, his face would be even cuter after this.

"Akira-chan, you really want to know why?"

Come on, take the bait.

Akira thought about it for a split second and nodded his head earnestly.

Ayase's smile deepened even more. Good boy!

"Alright! Now, this is not something you should be learning about right now. However, because you're such a genius, I feel that you have the right to understand this." Ayase said with a straight face, trying to sound as serious as ever.

Akira nodded seriously as well. He turned his body to face her completely, forgetting about the game that he was replaying.

"Akira-chan, this problem is only known to females. And it happens in a 28-day cycle. During the week of this situation, the female would experience pain and uncomfortableness, which is called cramps by us. And this annoying little problem is called period."

"Period?" Akira frowned. Period? Comma, period?

"Yes, period!" Ayase's smile was so wide that her eyes formed thin lines on her face. "And I shall explain to you the wondrous world of this female problem!"

The sakura petals flew by as the wind carried them away, giving the scene inside the room a much more gentle feeling to it. Though, another sight to die for is not the beautiful surroundings of the floating sakura petals. It is the sight of Akira turning into a tomato as Ayase eagerly went on and on about this little problem of hers.

Ah, such a beautiful day to pass on one's knowledge!
***
At the age of 12, Akira cried in front of Ayase.

Akira always thought that whenever the main character of a story met some misfortune, rain has to befall upon them. He thought it's stupid, and it's cliché and everything else. However, his opinion is starting to waver; in fact, it's beginning to waver a lot.

Standing in the middle of the pouring rain, he looked up at the blackened sky. What's coming down his face now? Is it rain or his tears?

There're not many souls on the empty street, it must be very late. His family is probably worried, but how can he go back to them? Akira clenched his eyes shut and fisted his hands. How can he go and tell his father that he just lost to some kid.

Shindou Hikaru.

Just who is he?

Suddenly, a car honked and jolted him out of his trance. Unconsciously, he turned to his left and saw a drunken man trying to cross the road without bothering with the signals. Suddenly, a tall building caught his eyes. On the very top of the building, there's a huge clock, why hasn't he noticed it before?

Seven minutes past eleven.

No wonder his cloths are soaked through and through. Looking with his misted eyes, the entire world looks grey and cold, no one is around. Numbly, he picked up his feet again and carried himself forward to who knows where. And when he finally arrived, he wanted to turn away, he wanted to run away. However, like he said before, for a main character, everything bad happens on a raining day.

And that's why the security guard saw him and 'escorted' him up the building. Before he could say anything, the door has already been opened and she looked down at him. He could feel her gaze on top of his head and he looked up slowly. She looked over him and sighed heavily, then thanked the security guard and pulled him in.

Later, Ayase glanced back at Akira and then turned her body in preparation to put down the phone. "I'll take care of him tonight, don't worry about it. He's perfectly fine." Except for soaked clothing and my soaked carpet. She added on silent.

And when she stood in front of him and saw a dry Akira, she sighed in relief mentally. Ogata had called her this afternoon and told her that Akira has 'disappeared'. She wanted to go out looking for him as well, but somehow he convinced her to stay home and wait for him. And his advice did pay off.

He looks absolutely terrible. Never had she seen him this lifeless, this dead.

Ayase knelt down in front of him and gently ran her hand through his hair again and again. The two of them just sat in silence. Then, something cold hit her hand that's resting on top of his hands. Her other hand, that is soothing his hair, stopped and she looked down.

It's his tear.

And she felt his head move; she looked up and saw Akira looking up at her as well. His eyes are red; it's obviously that this is not the first time that he has cried. Ayase sighed and moved her hand down to his neck so that she can pull him closer to her and still sooth his hair.

Akira just stayed in her warm embrace. He can feel the hand caressing his hair; he can feel the hand drawing circles on his back. And his tears just came down, he couldn't even control them.

And many years later when Touya Akira recalled his first meeting with Shindou Hikaru and Sai, he still cannot understand why he cried to her, but didn't shed a single tear in front of his parents and Ogata-san.


**

At the age of 13, Ayase came and picked him up from Kaiou Private Junior High and successfully shut everyone up.

It's normal to pick on the new kid, especially if the new kid is good at everything he lays his hands on. From studies to Go, he's the best at everything. The rumors are just there to keep him in check, to let him know that they don't welcome him.

It's junior high, and that's when guys and girls finally begin to look at the opposite sex and see something good in them. At least good enough to make them blush. It's a normal transition time, and everyone's used to it. Except for him of course.

Touya Akira.

The first year student and already many senior students are eying him and giggling. Though, he seems oblivious to them as he smiles politely and calls them 'senpai' before moving on. It seems he has no other word to say to them. It was interesting at the start, but soon, it got annoying. The senior students don't take 'no' for an answer, and when persuasion didn't work, it just turned down right to nastiness. Not only is it from the girls, but the guys are not so happy to find a competition at such a young age. It ruins the seniors' image.

"I heard that he has no emotions what-so-ever."

"I heard his life revolves around Go, and there's no other life for him."

"I heard he was impotent and he can't do anything."

"I heard he was gay."

Those are just some random comments that are made day in and day out. Of course, Akira hears them, of course he finds them annoying, but he doesn't do anything. Let them think whatever they want, as long as he knows the truth then everything's fine. However, he still lets some of those slip his mouth whenever he's around her. And hence the reason why he's standing near the gate of his school in shock.

Everyone's wearing the grey-blue uniform of Kaiou, so it's easier to spot your 'friends', as the school would say. However, there's someone different. Someone way different.

She's leaning against a small convertible and is looking towards the inside of the gate. She has her hair pulled up messily, creating a wild look to her. She's wearing a V-shaped sweater that just basically left nothing for imagination. Then, there's her black, leather, mini-skirt that stopped just around her thighs. Her high-heeled, knee length boots gave her a special height advantage.

No matter how you look at her, she doesn't look 23 and nothing like a good girl. She looks like someone that just walked off a magazine cover, glamorous and confident. And she knows it too.

Then, a smile lit up her red lips as she spotted the young boy. She pushed away from the car eagerly and walked towards him quickly, her hips swaying from side to side. Ignoring the daze-eyed, drooling, wolf-whistling, and nose-bleeding guys. Ignoring the blushing, envious, and shocked females, she went straight towards him.

"Akira-chan!"

And just as casually, she swept down and hugged him tightly. And immediately, every pair of eyes in the school yard turned to stare at them. Akira felt his lips twitch and a nervous smile appeared on his face. Worst of all, she pulled back and took ahold of his cheeks to leave a hot, red lipstick mark on his forehead.

"Aya-oneechan." He mumbled, hoping that no one would remember this.

Without another word, she smiled and took his hand. And they waltzed out of his school, into her car and drove off. Leaving a trail of dust and drooling boys behind. Half way down the block, Ayase turned to Akira and smiled. "Ogata-can can't pick you up today, because he was called away on an emergency issue. So he told me to pick you up."

"Thank you." Akira bowed slightly and then eyed her wardrobe uncomfortably. "Why did you have to dress like this?"

Ayase's smile deepened and she slowed to a stop in front of a set of red lights. She turned her head and looked at him with warm eyes. "I don't think anyone will be spreading anymore rumors about you anymore."

Akira blinked at her, his mind not getting where she's going from. The next day, everyone regarded him with respect in their eyes and the females stayed away from him. Though, suddenly, every single guy in the school wanted to be his friend.

It was in the quiet afternoon when he was replaying another one of Honinbou Shuusaku's games did he understand why she dressed up in such a manner.

The rumors did stop, and he smiled in gratitude for what she did for him.

**

At the age of 14, Ayase was the only one that celebrated him becoming a pro.

What Touya Akira cannot comprehend is the way that Shindou performed against him during the school club match. He thought that he had found a worthy opponent. He thought he had found someone that could be his friend and his rival at the same time, someone worth his time. However, he was wrong. He played impotently and lost horribly.

Everyone needs motivation and a push to do some things. That game against Shindou was the push and motivation for him to stop messing around and become a pro. Of course, that was an easy task for him. He passed with only one loss, and it was loss by default as he was so excited to battle Sai again and forgot all about his entrance exam. Or else, he would have passed with a winning streak and not even one single loss.

And when he passed, he automatically became a pro. No one said much, sure they congratulated him, but no one said much. He already knows the reason. Everyone has seen him becoming a pro ever since they first heard of his name; it's such a normal thing for him to do. It's as if becoming pro is like breathing to him.

And it was passed on like any regular day in his life.

Though, there're always exceptions in his life.

The house was empty when he came home; his father was away on some match again. Defending a title of his own. He sighed and didn't even bother saying anything, thinking that no one is home.

"Where is your 'tadaima'?"

Akira looked up sharply, what is she doing here?

Ayase snorted and crossed her arms in front of her chest. "Such a spoiled little brat." Even though her expression is cold, but her voice held much fondness for the younger boy.

"Ta... tadaima." Akira stuttered out.

"Better." Ayase dropped her stance and walked over to him. A warm smiled was plastered on her face and she took his handbag away. "Welcome home and congratulations on becoming a pro."

"Thank you." Akira said with a small smile.

"Come, come. I have a present for you, and then we can eat dinner." Ayase took a hold of his hand and pulled him towards the direction of his bedroom.

"Present? What for?"

Ayase glanced back at him and gave him a strange look. "Are you stupid or what? Obviously, the present is for you; after all, you're a pro now!" She announced happily and slid open his room door. Taking a couple of steps inside, she picked up a large box and presented it to Akira.

He took it gingerly and looked up at her curiously. She just smiled and made a sign for him to open it. And this is the first suit that Akira has ever tried on for his entire life. It's blue in color, and fitted him perfectly. As he did up the last button on the suit, he looked into the floor-length mirror and saw Ayase breathe out a sigh of relief.

"Seriously, I was worried that it wouldn't fit! It's a good thing that my eye measurements are usually not off by much." Ayase said thoughtfully and placed her hands on his shoulders.

Both of them just looked into the mirror, and Akira noticed that he's almost as tall as she is now. How have he grown over the last years. Then Ayase patted his shoulders and began shuffling towards the door again. "I'll set up the table for dinner, come out after you've changed."

Akira looked after her, the door closed and it separated the both of them. His hand then touched the left sleeve of the suit jacket. New warmth ran through his body.

An occasion that no one even bothered with, yet she put so much thought into it. He then glanced into the mirror again, and decided that blue is now his second favorite color.

His first favorite is teal, the color of his eyes... but more importantly, her eyes.

**

At the age of 15, Akira was forced to understand the way of women's mind.

"Why are you such a nerd?"

The question was followed by a pillow flying towards him. Akira blinked and instinctively moved his body to dodge it. The lonely pillow ran into the bed and rolled off the bed eventually. Akira looked from the pillow to the girl that threw the pillow. She's currently sitting in front of the mirror in her guest room and doing her usual beauty 'check-ups'.

"I'm not a nerd."

"Yes, you are! You have not left that book ever since you got here!" Ayase said with a roll of eyes. Though, her focus is still on her face.

"I'm trying to improve my skills in Go." Akira answered and looked back down at his book again. The pro world is not as easy as people like to think. Sure, there're those pros that should be kicked back down to amateur level, but then again, there're actually pros that are not shaming their titles.

"You're good enough, why do you need to learn more?"

"You can never be good enough at Go." Akira answered stubbornly.

Ayase snorted and rolled her eyes again. Then, with a final turn of her head, she smiled satisfactorily at the mirror. She then spun around on her chair and looked at the teen that's still being absorbed by the book. Seriously, this kid does not know how to have fun! When she was 15, she was out partying with friends and flirting with boys. She definitely wasn't sitting at home with a book in her hand constantly.

Ayase never liked being ignored when she's in presence and Akira is no exception. She walked over and grabbed the book away from his hands, startling him. He looked up at her, wanting to get back the book, but her face was suddenly enlarged in front of his. Their noses are practically touching. Akira blushed and leaned back to draw some distance between them.

"Say, Akira-chan."

"Yes?"

"Like them?"

Akira blinked at her face blankly, and titled his head. What? What is she asking about? However, a nervous smile broke out on his face as he met with her eyes, eyes that are starring at him intently. He sniffed and looked around her face, nothing seems different. No! There must be something! Akira ceased his eyebrows and starred at her face as well, trying to find something that looks different. However, it just proves that this 'women stuff' is so much harder than Go. Finally, Akira gave up and he sighed.

"What... are you referring to?"

Instantly, Ayase gasped loudly and dramatically. She moved back, her hand on her heart, feigning a look of shock and disbelief. "You bad little boy! How dare you not respect your elders?" She then dropped her acting and put both of her hands on her hips. She the stuck her face at him again. "Look carefully! I just did my eyebrows."

Akira's eyes immediately went to her willow like eyebrows and did his examination. After a moment, Akira spoke up slowly. "You... next time when you decide to do your eyebrows, you need to tell me the number of hair that made up your eyebrows before, and the number afterwards, so I can know what you did to them."

Ayase's mouth dropped, she looked at him in shock. Then she took in a deep breath and straightened herself. "Fine! Be a bad little boy! See if I care! Your pajama is on the bed, go to sleep already!" She then turned on her heel and tilted her face towards the heaven, to signal that she doesn't give a damn about what he just said.

Then, she walked out of the room confidently, and a loud slam came after her.

Akira cringed at the loudness then sighed in realization when he noticed that she took his book with her as well. Oh well, might has well get some sleep. Turning to his side, he changed into more comfortable cloths. Just as he took off his shirt and put on the pajama top, the door was pushed open without much introduction.

"Yo, Akira-chan! Your bo..."

Akira spun around to face her, and then suddenly realized what a horrible idea that was. He grabbed at the open ends of his pajama top and clutched them together, not even having the time to button them up properly. "What are you doing? Knock the next time!" Akira yelled with a red face, even his ears are blushing.

"Oh my God! I just saw the virgin body of Touya Akira!" Ayase started laughing maniacally and literally bounced next towards him. "Say, Akira, let's sleep together tonight, okay?"

"No! Go back to your own room." Akira backed away and bumped into the bed side, so he dropped down onto the bed in the end.

"It's okay, I like sharing a bed with you." Ayase announced excitedly and dropped his book on the counter. Her free hands latched onto his pajama top immediately. "You don't need this; it's sanitary to sleep in the nude. Come on, come on!"

And for the first time, Akira had the urge to seriously knock someone out.

**

At the age of 16, Akira got himself a girlfriend for a day.

Akira glanced up at her again, this is the second time within 20 seconds. This Go game was harder than he imagined. Not that she has improved greatly and is becoming a challenge to him. It's the fact that she's starring at him rather than the Go board that's creeping him out. Finally, Akira made his move on the Go board and sat back. He looked at her carefully.

"Ayase-san, is something wrong?"

"It's Aya-oneechan to you!" She slammed down a Go stone and crossed her arms in front of her chest. She then rose up her eyes and glared at him. "And nothing is wrong?"

"Are you sure?" Akira played another stone.

This time, it is Akira whom is starring at Ayase, and not the other way around. Ayase dropped her eyes onto the Go board and pretended to be thinking about a move, though nothing came to mind. Finally, she gave up and sighed heavily. "I resign."

"Thank you for the game." Akira said calmly and bowed lightly.

"Sorry, Akira-chan." Ayase muttered out while cleaning up her black stones.

"What for?" Akira stopped his hands that were cleaning up the stones as well. He looked at Ayase with curiosity in his eyes.

"Sorry that I forgot your birthday yesterday." Ayase said quietly and clutched a handful of stones.

Akira looked at her and smiled somewhat relieved. It was his 16th birthday yesterday, and it wasn't until the very end of it did she decide to show up. Though, she wasn't quite herself as she was tired and didn't say more than two sentences to him. Akira obviously slept over at her house and this is already the next morning. It's a surprise that Ayase has a Go board at her place. However, she claims that since he's here often, then she should buy one for him to use.

"I already said don't worry about it."

And it was in the middle of the night yesterday... no, correction. It was way early in the morning of today did she knock down his door and looked at him with urgent eyes. It made him think that she was having cramps again. However, she opened her mouth and blurted out an apology as she forgot his birthday, which was technically yesterday.

"But I feel horrible! You've never missed any of my birthdays." Ayase said with a pout, then she ceased her eyebrows and was then deep in thought. "A present for you. What should I get?"

"Really, you don't..."

"Something that you don't have." Ayase ignored him and went on.

"I don't need..."

"Something that you've never had."

"Aya-on..."

"A girlfriend!" Ayase yelled out and looked up at him with heated eyes.

Akira froze and blinked at her dumb folded. A what?

"Yes, a girlfriend! You've never had a girlfriend before, have you?" Ayase then glanced around, as if to see if there's anyone else in the room besides them. "There's no one around here, so...." She then smiled and turned back to Akira again. "So, you'll have to settle for me. As a late birthday present, I'll be your girlfriend for a day, and you can do whatever you want with me." She suggested playfully and looked at him.

"Um...." Akira stuttered, not knowing what to say.

And that was how he got his girlfriend. Can't say it was his choice, but at least it wasn't some random girl off the street. And with no experience to back it up on, Ayase was quite the girlfriend. She dragged him out shopping one minute, and then dragged him to an amusement park the next minute. They barely had any time to eat, and didn't stop for a rest unless it was on a bus or some sort of transportation. Ayase insisted that they hold hands, or link arms or put an arm around each other for the entire day.

Akira obliged reluctantly. He saw all the looks that by-standers were giving them. Even though she doesn't look 26, but she doesn't look like she's 16 either. It's still sort of a taboo for a younger man to go out with an older woman in this society.

Go out.

What a strange phrase. Akira never thought that it was possible to use that phrase on the two of them. And when he started thinking deeply about it, nothing really changed. Sure, they're acting very... physical with each other, but it's not like she hasn't held his hand when they went out shopping before. And she always makes it her goal to give him a hug at least once a day no matter where or when.

He remembers the first time when Ayase hugged him in front of his father. The Touya-Meijin's face could not have been darker, but he didn't say anything to it. Akira always thought that it's because Ayase has saved his life before, and thus he tolerates things that Ayase does.

All in all, their relationship was not anywhere different from when they were going out. Akira learnt to enjoy the day as he was being dragged around and did stuff kids his normal age would do. Except for the part where some people would come up to him and ask for an autograph.

"Akira-chan, you're like a celebrity! Wow! I'm dating a celebrity, I feel so special!" She said happily and laughed funnily at herself afterwards.

That was what she said when the entire crowd cleared up and it was just the two of them again. Akira just smiled and looked at her laughing face. He realized that in the past 9 years, he has only seen... no, felt her crying once. She smiles and laughs way more often.

The day went by quickly, and when nighttime came, Ayase insisted that they sleep in the same bed.

"That's what a couple would do!" She argued.

And Akira, being himself, obviously agreed to it. And when they laid there and just looked at each other, they talked non-consistently. The both of them wanting to drift off to sleep, but doesn't want to leave the other one. Finally, when Akira's senses were slipping away into oblivion, he felt the bed shift and something warm pressed up again his lips.

He didn't move, but he knows what is happening.

Just enjoy the moment. That was what his mind told him. After all, everything would be back to normal in the morning.
**

At the age of 17, Akira tasted the bitterness of regret and pain.

"You called me?" Akira asked as he stepped into the large classroom.

Ayase looked up from her place on the ground and smiled brightly. "Akira-chan, you made it!"

"Is something the matter?" Akira asked and stepped deeper into the room, closer to her.

"Not really, I just needed your help with cleaning this classroom." Ayase dusted off her hands on her lab coat and stood up to face him.

"Is this your school?"

"It was my school." Ayase smiled and looked around the room with fond memories rushing through her mind. "It was my high school; I spent some of the most memorable years in here." She then shrugged and her hands found each other behind her back. "The government decided to take down this school and build something else on top of it, because it was getting old. So, my old Chemistry teacher called back a couple of her students to help her clean up."

Akira nodded and looked around as well. He's never had the opportunity to go to a high school. He was too busy with his pro life, and besides, he was home schooled, so there was no use.

"Anyways, Akira-chan, just take this box outside for now." She mentioned to the cardboard box on the table, and Akira followed her eyes.

"Alright, I'll do it." Akira unbuttoned his suit jacket and laid it on a random table so it won't restrain his movements. He looked back and Ayase is already holding out the box for him, he smiled and took it over. A glimmer of silver caught his eyes and he looked down. "You're still wearing the ring?"

Ayase looked down as well and noticed the silver ring on her right pointer finger. She smiled and giggled happily. "I told you, it's our signature, you'll need to locate me using it someday."

"Of course." Akira smiled good-naturedly and turned around to walk towards the doorway.

"Akira-chan, wait." Akira paused and turned back. "The shelf near the door is filled with acids and bases, be careful not to bump into it."

Akira glanced at it over the piling materials in the cardboard box and nodded his head. "I see." He then turned around and started walking again.

"Akira-chan, wait!" Again, he was stopped. He sighed and turned around to attempt to look at her again. "Take this out while you're at it."

Before he could reply, he felt something drape over his head slid down his face. It was the lab coat that she was wearing. "Aya-oneechan, I can't see anything."

"Just turn around and walk straight, you'll feel the cool air of the hallway in no time." Ayase spoke lightly and turned back to her work from before. And truly, in no time, she heard a crashing sound.

By the time she stood up and turned around, the smell of acid already filled the entire room.

What do acids smell like? No one really knows, but acetic acid is supposed to smell sour, so maybe all acids should smell like such as well. And indeed, all acids do smell sour. Sour enough to make her eyes sting and remain in her heart forever. She was overwhelmed by the smell, and even when she was sitting in the hospital, she could still smell the acid around her.

"Uchihaya-san."

Ayase looked up and saw Touya-Meijin starring down at her. She opened her mouth and wanted to say something, but her voice failed her and nothing came out. Instead, she just sighed and dropped her head again.

"Touya-Meijin." The voice sounded careful and distant.

Ayase and the professional Go player both looked up to see the doctor standing before them. He's covered in surgery materials, but he has removed his mask. His old eyes look even more fatigue than before.

"How is my son?"

"The acid spilled all over his face. His facial disfiguration can be dealt with easily; we can return the same old Touya Akira to you. However..." The doctor trailed off and looked down, as if to reconsider his words. "However, the acid was splashed into his eyes as well, and... his eyes... he will be blind no matter what the outcome of the surgery is."

Ayase gasped and covered her mouth in horrid. Even the Meijin looked shocked and bewildered. Akira is a Go player, and even though playing blind Go is a possibility, but which pro wouldn't want to see the battle unfold in front of their eyes?

"Doctor, is there no way to save his eyes?"

"There is a way. If we can find a donor that's willing to donate their eyes... but that's very unlikely as we're talking about a very expensive operation, and not many people are willing to donate. We may be lucky and wait a day, or we may be as unfortunate as to wait a lifetime."

And it was at this point that Ayase stood up, and determination glimmered in her teal eyes.
**

At the age of 27, Akira understood the phrase 'the greatest distance is not life and death, it's when I'm right in front of you, and yet you cannot see me'.

"Thank you for the game."

"Thank you for the game."

The father and son bowed at each other over the Go board. Many years later, people still count the Touya father and son succession to be the most glamorous one. In this friendly match for charity, Akira has overcome his father in a thin win, but a win none the less.

Akira looked up and his teal eyes seem to smile as he looked at his long time teacher and father in front of him. It's a great sense of feeling to beat his father; he can finally say that he has taken a step forward. The father and son then cleared the Go board in silence and bowed again over the now empty Go board.

"Touya-Meijin, can you discuss the feelings you held going into the game?" The question was directed at Akira, as he is the new Touya-Meijin.

Akira smiled politely and looked up at the reporter to his right. Suddenly, a rare sight caught his eyes and his mind strayed from the question and the reporter. In the crowd of fans and by-standers, there're two nuns standing there. The shorter one is just a normal nun with her black and white uniform and her silver cross draping around her neck.

Though, the taller one was quite strange. She's in the same attire as the first one, but she has a huge sunglass covering half of her face. His eyes traveled down her figure and landed on her hands, and for an instant, he thought he saw a glimmer of silver on her right pointer finger.

"Touya-Meijin?"

Akira jerked his head back to the confused reporter and smile woefully. "Sorry, my mind was still on the game." He said something that'd make his zoning out sound less respectful.

"It seems that Go is the only thing on Touya-Meijin's mind. No wonder he still hasn't married." Everyone around him laughed, and he even smiled. However, when he glanced up again, the two nuns were already gone and no where in sight.

Though, fate seems to have other plans.

Later, as Akira walked down the empty hall way towards the elevators, he noticed one of the nuns from before. He paused and looked at her. It's her! The nun with the sunglass. Immediately, his eyes went to her hand and he searched everywhere for a glimpse of that ring. To his disappointment, he found no ring on her finger.

He was just seeing things.

Taking in a deep breath, he shook his head and picked up his feet to walk towards her. The two of them brushed by each other and continued on their original way. The nun nodded her head when she felt someone brush her shoulders. Her eyes under the sunglass are dull and lifeless, but like they say, when one sense has been taken away, the other senses step up to fill in its empty spot. It was when the elevator door opened and closed, and rang in signal that it's moving, she paused.

She turned her head behind her to the general direction of the elevators and frowned slightly. Why did she feel like she just passed by someone familiar a second ago? This strong feeling that she just missed someone important jumped with her every heartbeat.

"Ayase-san."

The nun turned to the direction of the voice and raised a calming smile. "Yes?"

"Sorry Ayase-san, the guards said that the Meijin had already left."

Ayase's smile dropped a bit in disappointment. The younger nun then stepped up and touched her hand. Ayase opened her hand and the younger nun placed a silver ring in the middle of her palm. "Here's your ring."

Ayase smiled and fingered the ring with her left hand slowly, and eventually it found its way back onto the pointer finger of her right hand.

"Ayase-san."

"Yes?"

"Who gave you the ring?"

Ayase smiled fondly and she touched the ring gently. "Someone very important to me."

**

At the age of...

As Touya Akira laid in his death bed, listening to the silent weeping and moaning of his family, his teal eyes closed. His mind began to drift. It drifted to that fateful afternoon when he first met Ayase. Her face and figure are still imprinted in his mind as if burnt onto it.

At the end of his time, he suddenly realized that all these years, he never had the chance to tell her that he loves her. I'll tell her when I see her again. I'll tell her when I see her in Heaven. That was his final thought as he drifted into unconsciousness and the color black took over.

Spread your wings and wait for me,
In front of Heaven's gate.
Many years later, if we ever meet again...
Will you still smile?
Will you still laugh?
Will they still be for me?
Pray a milky-way like prayer,
When it ends,
Hope that I'm already there.


THE END.

Author's Notes:

Hi everyone, this is my first time writing an HnG fanfiction, and I hope it didn't turn out all that horrible. I have to apologize for making Touya Akira sound so very OOC in here. And as for his eye color, I'm not too sure of them myself. One clip they seem green and the next one they seem blue... so I combined the two colors and made it teal. This story was just something that popped into my head one day, and I decided to put it down on paper. Once again, I hope it wasn't terrible to read and hopefully you've enjoyed it. Thanks for reading, please R&R.
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