Touya chooses to be selfish at the expense of his rival
They are the property of their respective owners and I make no profit off of any of this
"Ehhh? So the young master is playing speed go again with Shindou-kun, ka?"
"Hai!" came the response of the young lady from behind the counter.
"What a shame, I was hoping he would have time to play some shidou-go with me, but if its speed go those two are playing" pause "I guess it cant be helped, it's the only way it stays quiet around here these days."
The lady known as Ichikawa just sweat dropped and did her best to keep her smile from faltering so as not to give anything away.
Looks like everyone has picked up on those two new routine
"That's just the way it is, Ashiwara-kun is here in the back with some of the other players however, I think that they are going over one of Akira-kun's games from last week"
The elders face lit up at that and asked the nice young lady to show him the way. I may get something done today after all!
After he paid his adult fee for playing , the two of them walked past a table where there sat two young teens that were known to the rest of the world as the rising stars of the Go world, however at times like these, they were known to each other as rivals and friends.
Normally the two teens would give out formalities to their elders as they passed by but in this game of speed Go, Touya knew that he could not afford the concentration to spare when he played against his rival, especially against his rival. Luckily no one ever holds it against them for being too involved in the game with each other.
Using a timer that was used in official matches, Shindou and Touya gave each other the usual two seconds to respond to the others hands. Speed Go was not one of Touya's strengths but it was Shindou's and his rival was well known for playing odd hands so Touya knew that he had to give special attention to his speed Go games with Shindou.
And Touya didn't mind, he knew that it was good to work on ones weaknesses sometimes rather than building on the strengths all the time. This was one of the benefits that he had found in playing in this new routine, another one being that if he didn't enjoy his rivals company more before then he really enjoyed their time together now.
However, when he left the Go salon, he was even more exhausted than he was used to and this wasn't to his benefit seeing as he still had other things to do before retiring for the night. Touya still went to high school and was studying both Chinese and Korean when he wasn't playing Shindou at the salon but he found that lately he was less tense and had more of a reason for cracking a smile as Shindou left for the night and he was real sure that it was something to do with his rivals desire to change the routine on him.
And Shindou was adamant about it too.
Secretly Touya thought that maybe Shindou was the only one to sense his need for release and took it upon himself to help the only way he knew how and for this Touya was really grateful. Nobody understood him the way Shindou did.
Touya had joked that he thought that his head might explode and it was funny at the time, but he really wasn't kidding. He didn't want anyone to worry over him since these extra duties were his decision, but out of all the people that had heard him joking, it was Shindou that hadn't laughed, instead Touya had caught him staring with his eyes silently pleading for him to stop so intense that even the aggressive Touya wasn't able to hold Shindou's gaze and had shamefully looked to the floor instead.
The concentration that it took to play Shindou was intense and satisfying and they didn't discuss any of the games at all, instead they would clear the board and play another round until Touya felt that he had relaxed enough to drop his perfect Go prodigy demeanor. There was no pondering the next attack and there were no post game discussions to show how each other could improve, instead they both slapped stones down according to their knowledge of each others playing styles and instinct.
All of this was Shindou's idea when he had come in the next time to play Touya at the salon. He had felt really guilty afterwards about making light of his problems and would have refused such a request to save his pride, however the look in his rivals eyes told him that he was really afraid that something might happen to Touya if he didn't slow down and Touya got the feeling that his rival knew what that might feel like.
Speed Go wasn't his only weakness.
Shindou had watched his rival so closely these past weeks to the point that he could recount every feature in his sleep. He knew his rival and knew that his joking was not his sense of humor, especially since he didn't really have one, it was a silent plea to be noticed and comforted by someone, anyone. It was obvious to anyone who cared to look that the Touya family was not one for offering support. Heck, Touya's own father didn't even come to congratulate him on the wins in the Hokuto cup, and his own mother referred to him as 'Akira-san'.
Touya was so stubborn and kind that he hadn't yielded to his pleading glares that he should not take on so much. He opted instead to ignore them and find the other things in the room more interesting, any thing other than holding eye contact with Shindou. It was then that he had come to terms that it was very possible to loose another important person in his life without them knowing just what they had really meant to them.
That was something that they both could meet each other in the middle on and Shindou was so sure it would work in communicating his feelings. There would be no discussing, no experimenting new moves, no leaving at the end of the day on tense terms. Touya would even get some stress relief as well.
He was so sure that by now Touya would know that he knew that there was more between them than just rivalry. He knew it was there and Touya had been trying so hard to hide it all by himself. Waking up and going about his day all this time without anyone to confide in. Shindou didn't want that, he wanted to be with him when he fell and needed a hand up.
That is what friends were for. No, he didn't just want to be his friend and he knew that the two of them knew it.
Was Touya planning on letting things stay the same between them?
Touya was becoming strangely submissive to his request as of lately too. Instead of arguing Shindou's new routine change, he simply agreed with a smile that Shindou could tell was forced, the kind that said that it was a bad idea and he didn't like it but he was going to do it because it was you that asked, for no one else would Touya bend his perfect rules for.
Shindou at first noticed that his rival had become passive with him in their exchanges off the Goban after the first week, and he thought that it was odd to have a smiling Touya that had actually acted like he wanted to put up with his hyper antics but Shindou said that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing and accepted it as learning a new side to his rival.
However Shindou would not stand for this type of behavior from him on the Goban. Which is exactly what had ended up happening.
Touya was loosing, again. If it were anyone else, he would put up more of a fight, but this was Shindou Hikaru, his rival.... No, his eternal rival.
Somehow he had managed to accept and loose any challenge that Shindou threw his way since that fateful day when he came bouncing into his fathers Go salon.
It had become the center of thought here lately and Touya found that he really didn't mind loosing to his rival in some things that were Go related. It was a real humbling experience for him; one that Shindou didn't mind adjusting to. In fact, it seemed that his two-toned friend hadn't really noticed that Touya was more open with his personal space and expressions when they were together. That in itself was a comfort that he looked forward to, but then he wasn't giving his all to Shindou anymore like he was the other players in the Go world.
Good for Shindou that he is now winning games against him more often, bad for the rest of the Go world now that Touya had to take it out on all of them.
'ah, Shindou just played a risky hand against me, he knows that I am starting to feel the pressure of loosing that corner, it was a large loss. If I do it right however, I might make it up by focusing in the center, but....'
"Touya" he didn't even seem to hear him, was he that tired of playing already, or was he really focusing on the game, Shindou was hoping that it was first because the game was going badly. This wasn't like him to play this way, it was almost insulting if Shindou hadn't known his rival any better.
"You should just ahead and resign"
He was tired of playing a half of Touya and decided that he should go ahead stop now, it was no use anyways. He obviously wasn't focusing on the game. Why can't anything ever be simple when Touya was involved?
Touya looked up surprised when Shindou broke the silence and stared at Shindou for a few seconds before the words seemed to sink in, then he looked down at the Goban and after a quick mental calculation, he saw that in another 5 moves he would indeed be saying his usual 'makemashite'
'Oh well..maybe I should listen to him and drop something, it isn't fair to keep wasting his time and playing in this manner Shindou.'
Touya dared a glance upwards to the other boy only to see that Shindou's face was turning slightly red, but he knew that it wasn't from embarrassment, his rival seemed to be getting tired of him and his mistakes in their meetings over the Goban.
Touya looked guiltily back down at his lap.
'Cant say that I blame him, if I were in his shoes, I would be doing everything in my power to bring back the old Shindou, maybe I should ask him out for some ramen as a peace offering'
The image of Shindou's fierce glare turn ecstatic at the mention of ramen, was enough to make Touya chuckle slightly and he brought his hand up quickly to cover his mouth so as to not give off the wrong impression.
However he got the feeling that he was being set on fire with someone's glare and knew it was too late, Shindou had gotten the wrong idea and was probably thinking that he was not taking all these games with him seriously.
Indeed the image Shindou standing up and acting out in a way that he would usually be doing had the roles been reversed only made things worse as his face began to flush and he did his best to not laugh out loud, but he was having a hard time controlling himself today, maybe he had finally cracked.
Ok, Shindou was now utterly confused, he had only mentioned that Touya should resign because he was tired of his playing in this non-chalant manner with him and here he was hunched over the Goban, his hands covering his mouth and his shoulders shaking in a vain attempt to control his fit of laughter.
What was so funny about this situation anyway! Wasn't this some sort of insult to Go and to the other player?
The more Shindou stared at Touya the more he seemed to laugh and it was really irritating. He had balled his fists up while they were still on the table and had started to grit his teeth in an effort to control his building frustration. These past few weeks were serious to him, he was really worried about the workload that Touya had taken on, the change in the way Touya was being around him and the easily accepted defeat of his games, they all swirled around his head so fast that he wasn't sure which issue he wanted to address first but one thing was for sure, in light of Touya's recent outburst, they were going to have a post game discussion tonight!
It was an amazing act of control that Shindou was still seated at his chair while Touya still giggled about his recent loss opposite of him. He wanted to stand up and grab Touya by the shirt and yell at him for being so stupid here lately.
But really what did he want from the other boy.
Touya was finally smiling. No actually, he was doing more than just smiling at the moment. Shouldn't he be happy with that at least?
His smiles have been becoming more frequent as of late and that was a good thing, but what was going on now?
Shindou contemplated just getting up and walking out, but he didn't think that in the case that Touya was starting to go crazy, he didn't think that he should leave him alone. So why is it him that gets the brunt of Touya's fits.
This was ridiculous, why hadn't the speed Go idea worked? Other than the other pro's more comfortable demeanor towards him being different now, Touya showed no other signs of catching to what Shindou was trying to tell him.
Maybe him saying it out right was the only way.
'He wont know until I tell him, then maybe he will take me a little more seriously'
Releasing any anger he was holding, Shindou just settled for slumping in his chair, sighing and lowering his face to where it almost touched the table. He didn't care where his face was, so long as Touya couldn't see it when he said what he was planning on saying next.
At the sound of a loud and exhausted sigh, Touya looked up to see his rival hanging his head in defeat, but wasn't he the one that was just defeated a moment ago?
Something was wrong and something told him that this day wasn't going to end like all the others.
"Shindou...what..um..I....." what was he doing?
His rival's head lifted slightly at Touya's voice but nothing more happened to show that he had heard him. Touya knew that their relationship was complex but maybe this time he had gone too far.
'Maybe more ramen, no that won't do'
Straightening up his chair and taking deep breath, Touya folded his hands in his lap to show that he was now going to take this more seriously, he had made his decision and he had chosen his rival. He always did.
"Just...just resign already, okay?" "eh?"
"Please..just resign, Akira"
Was his voice shaking? Touya for a moment stared at the blond banged boy to take in what was just implied, no there were no implications to it, Shindou had just begged him to give up and had used his first name. There was only thing that he could think of that could possibly be running through Shindou's head right now. But...didn't he realize just what he asking of him?
When he didn't respond, Shindou took the chance to glance up to see if maybe he had even heard him and bolted or had left without hearing or if nothing else to see if he was still alive.
The other boy was still there and he was just looking at him and by the expression on his face, it looked like he was just choosing not to respond instead of being shocked into not responding.
But why? Didn't they share the same feelings? Didn't Touya always refer to him as his eternal rival? That meant that they shared the same feelings about always being together, didn't it?
He was starting to get really nervous the longer his rival stayed silent, maybe he shouldn't have said anything.
He was just about to sit up and laugh it off as one of his weird Shindou mysteries when Touya finally spoke up.
"I am sorry if I hurt you by saying these things, I hope you will forgive me later on.."
Eh! What was he saying?
"But I am a selfish person when it comes to you, Shindou."
I can't tell where this conversation is heading, what is he trying to tell me? Have I lost Touya too, like I did Sai?
I...I don't think that I can handle something like that again...
Please Touya, forget I said anything!
"Shindou, please look at me when I say this, I want to know that you understand me clearly on this"
Shindou squeezed his eyes shut but he knew better than to not do as Touya had asked, he wasn't going to be a coward and run away. So slowly he raised his head and sat up a little straighter but he still did not raise his eyes to meet his rivals, or would they still be after today?
I cant Touya, sorry, I just can't look at you, it hurts. I feel like I'm loosing something and can't get it back.
Touya watched him for a few more moments to see if he could get his internal battle under control, but it didn't look like he was going to, maybe he should help a little.
"Shindou, please, I need to see your eyes....your...eyes..." Shindou did raise his eyes at that. But Touya wasn't expecting to see him on the brink of tears when he did.
To say what he said must have been really hard for him, it's as though he had to say it for some reason unknown to me. That's right, I haven't been myself for a while and out of the two of us, its Shindou who has lost the most, I will never understand him, even if this was to progress the way he wants.....
Shindou may have been looking his direction but his eyes were unfocused and drowning in his own wild thoughts. He still wasn't looking directly at the boy on the other side of the Goban and it seemed to Touya that he had no intentions of doing so.
Shindou's eyes snapped to attention at the sound of his first name being uttered so sweetly by the other. His heart started beating faster and he looked over to see Touya leaning over the Goban as far and as close to Shindou as he could but without leaving his seat.
I could stare at them all day and get lost in them
What's wrong with me, how did I get to feel so strongly for him?
This is so hard....
Eyes that Shindou didn't think could get any softer towards him in the last weeks had grown softer and he had placed one hand on top of Shindou's which were clutching each other in fists on the table and Touya's other hand had come up to cup his chin and raise his frightened amber eyes to meet his own determined aqua ones.
This was embarrassing and he knew it, his face was taking on a new shade of pink while Shindou's was still in shock at the distant Touya touching him this way. But he wanted to make sure that Shindou was getting his point. This was the only way to keep his attention and at the same time for him to be taken seriously for what he was about to say to other boy.
"Hikaru..." he started, but this was so hard.
" I am selfish when it comes to you. I don't care what outsiders and the rest of Go world thinks of me, never have. So its not because we are both boys so don't get the wrong idea. There is nothing in this world that I am in need of other than my Goban and you by my side. But..."
Shindou's eyes seemed to show some idea of where this may be leading to and he just continued to stare into Touya's. But he really had no idea, none at all and Touya hated this more than he hated being told that he had to play first board when he entered his schools Go club.
No this was worse and mentally Touya prepared himself on what to say next to the boy whose eyes were just so innocent. He really didn't think this through at all did he? And he obviously had no idea of what he was asking of him.
"But I want to stay like this with you for a while longer."
Huh? Like this in the Go salon? For everyone to see? Is he crazy!
Touya seemed to catch on as to what that choice of words would cause his rival to think, so he berated himself for not doing better the first time and tried again.
But the look on Shindou's face was priceless; his innocence was really the medicine he needed sometimes. His smiled widened but nothing more.
"Hikaru...please, don't ask me to give up what we have now, I am being selfish and inconsiderate for your feelings right now I know but I cant help it, please allow me to be selfish a while longer"
Is he saying what I think he is saying?
As the words sank in, suddenly the warmth of Touya's hands on him didn't feel warm at all but like a scalding hot iron. If possible his heart had sped up but for a different reason than a few seconds ago and he felt like Touya's words had punched him and hard.
Selfish? I have always known that he was, but I expected a little more than this! He's known this all along!!
Touya didn't know what to think when Shindou jerked his hands out from under his and slapped the hand that was holding his chin in place away with an angry and betrayed look on his face.
Touya knew that he would be angry at his request but seeing the pain there didn't make it any less easier to take.
They were both standing now with Shindou shaking with rage and the other silently contemplating what to do next. Of course there was really nothing to be done. The next move was now up to Shindou as to whether he allowed Touya to play with him a little longer or they go their separate ways.
For the Go prodigy the answer was simple, he would rather have Shindou play him and still hate him than not have him in his life at all. Yes it was selfish and didn't benefit the other at all, but he couldn't help himself. It was his weakness, something that he planned to start working on along with his speed Go games.
"I.." Shindou started but wasn't sure how he wanted to say what needed to be said, he wasn't good with things like this and it was the last thing that he expected to happen.
"I...need to go.."
Turning around to leave perhaps faster than anticipated, he didn't even stop for his bag as he ran out the door, slamming it shut behind him and leaning his back against it in order to regroup himself before heading out into the street.
He couldn't give Touya the answer that he wanted, what kind of person was he? He said the whole time that he wouldn't run from Touya but when faced with something so painful as what had just happened, it was the first thing that he was able to do.
'che...maybe I don't deserve someone like him anyways, all he asked is that I wait a little longer, is that so bad?
But he had known all this time and the way he went about it was so untactful! Touya really has no people skills'
Even knowing all this didn't stop him from running as fast as his legs could carry him for as long as they could go and not once did he look back.
No!! he ran!! Figures, but I can't let him, I need an answer!
Touya took off after his rival a full 5 seconds too late and was caught by the door as it was slammed in his face. But really what did he expect? It still didn't make taking it hurt any less. He couldn't chase Shindou, he was faster and it wouldn't do any good any way.
His body frustrated from the past weeks of being overworked and today's events had taken its toll on his better judgment as the young boy threw his body against the door and banged in it a few times before giving in to tears of frustration.
Why? Why, does it turn out like this!! I had to be honest!! If it were anyone else, lying wouldn't have been a problem, but...but...Shindou, please!!
Touya didn't hear the talks of the surrounding customers nor did he hear the pleas of Ichikawa-san to calm down. It didn't matter, he may have just chased away his only friend and love by his own selfishness.
Well there it is, not the best but I have been real sick and bed ridden so forgive me if it seems confusing, I didn't go through it really good like I should have I was just glad to have it out of my head. I had everything laid out but when I uploaded it, a lot of the italics weren't there and so I had to go back and fix it , and then decided to add some things in.