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[HnG Fic] Hoshi 4c/4 (final part)

HOSHI | by: ken
Word Count: 1889 | Complete: YES | Beta: no
Pairings: Sai + Hikaru, Akira + Hikaru (unrequited), Ko Yeoung-Ha + Hikaru *shrugs*
Disclaimer: Hikaru No Go © Hotta & Obata. i do not own.
Read: Chapter 4c:

A Few Months Later:

Hikaru woke because he was too comfortable. He was snugly beneath his winter blanket, spread out on his back, one arm dangling from the side of the bed. His shoulder was dry and a cool breeze blew across his face.

That just wasn’t right.

The bed cover should have been the catalyst in blanket warfare between him and his bed mate, of whom his dangling arm should have been uncomfortably stuck beneath and twisted around. Hikaru never thought he’d miss being drooled on, but there it was, his shoulder screaming blasphemy at being dry for the first time in the months since Sai had been released from the hospital.

Hikaru was the only one in his bed. It was distinctly unsettling. So he rose and wandered to his door which was slightly ajar and admitting a sliver of light. The computer screen was on but no one sat in front of it. The small light above the stove emitted light from the kitchen and Hikaru turned his attention from the digital fish swimming on the computer screen to follow it. Sai wasn’t in the kitchen but the door to the laundry room and subsequently the one leading outside from that room was. There he found Sai bundled in one of the chairs gazing up into the cool January night. They would have to get up in a few hours to leave for Sai’s Shodan Game; there was no reason for them to be losing much needed sleep now when it was going to be a long day. After the game and the interviews there was to be a party at his mother’s house—Mitsuko had insisted. She wanted to do something nice for Sai as well as congratulate Hikaru on his promotion to 3-dan.

Shindou Mitsuko had really surprised him. A few weeks in to Sai’s preliminary games she’d invited him over for lunch while Sai was gaming and Hikaru had accepted. After they’d eaten she’d nervously led him up to his old room where he’d found a goban had been set up. His mother--who had been absolutely dismissive of his chosen profession before--nervously invited him to play with her. Hikaru had smiled ecstatically at her in return and accepted. She held the stones the way Hikaru had in the beginning, and placed seven, because ‘Akari said when you’re playing a pro you’re allowed to do that.’ Over the course of the game of shidou-go Hikaru discovered that his mother had been taking lessons from Akari and his grandfather because she wanted to show him that she did support him, and that she didn’t want to be one of those parents who had children who never called or visited. From then on Hikaru had made sure to call her at least once a week and detour to see her whenever he was close to his old neighborhood.

Though their relationship was closer Hikaru had been surprised at her offer to host the party, but she’d claimed he and his friends spent enough time in that ‘igo colony’ he’d founded (so called because Yashiro had moved in shortly after Sai’s first preliminary game, followed by Waya, then Isumi, and Nase all sprinkled around in their own apartments on the lower floors). Of course, Hikaru had no doubt that Sai would win his Beginner Series game. Furthermore, the Go world was already enamored of him since Fujiwarano Midori had announced that he was her long lost son and had the blood test to prove it. That day in June Hikaru had been late arriving at the hospital only to see three pros congregating around Sai’s closed door. Ogata Judan and Touya, former Meijin, were trying to revive a woman who had collapsed to the floor whimpering about a child who had her dead lover’s eyes (though not the right color). Upon closer inspection Hikaru would note that the woman, Fujiwarano Midori, did look a lot like Sai. Later, while they were waiting on DNA results after the whole mess was sorted out Sai would mentally tell Hikaru that Fujiwarano Midori was indeed a descendant of his family. The Lady Murasaki Shikibu was, after all, a member of the Fujiwara clan. Somewhere along the way when naming systems changed the Fujiwara clan had added the ‘No’ character to their name for distinction from the other Fujiwaras who’d cropped up. When Midori’s parents (technically Sai’s great-too-many-times-to-count grand-Nephew/Niece) had ousted him from the family tree, dropping the ‘no’ was enough to separate Sai from the family. They hadn’t met, Sai and the rest of the Fujiwaranos, Midori wouldn’t allow her parents near him. Hikaru thought maybe the Fujiwarano family had been through a lot since Sai died a thousand years ago, and maybe Sai getting his life back was to correct many cases of bad luck that the go-playing family had endured.

On top of being a member of the very rich Fujiwarano family, shortly after the story broke the kifu of Touya Meijin versus Sai with a zero handicap, and Sai’s resulting win had found its way to Kosemura and Amano’s desk somehow. When it had gotten out that Sai, fourteen-year-old nobody (at the time) had already beaten the reigning Meijin (at the time) in a fair game, Kosemura and Amano’s enthusiasm for Sai could not be contained. Nor could any of the other pros it seemed. They were lining up to play Sai to prove it wasn’t a fluke that the fifteen year old had won even though Sai had barely been out of the hospital and had only just entered the prelims for the pro exam.

Ogata Seiji had been smart about it, however, and secured Sai’s Shodan Game. Touya Kouyo, after months of deliberation had petitioned to rejoin the Japanese Go League. Sai had already promised to play him next week when there would be a break in his very busy schedule and Hikaru had agreed to meet Touya the younger for a game. He and Touya were getting along much better now. Hikaru thought that between Isobe Hideki vying for his attention and Yashirou Kiyoharu taking offense to Isobe’s interest in Akira and successively hoarding the flustered Touya for himself that maybe Touya didn’t have the energy to be angry at Hikaru for some imagined slight anymore. Admittedly, Hikaru was childish, but Isobe was a spoiled brat on Ochi’s level who tried even Sai’s patience. Hikaru was glad that the result was that he and Akira were becoming true friends as well as rivals now, just as he was glad that Touya Kouyo would finally get his rematch. He knew what it felt like to wait to avenge your honor. He also knew what it felt like to finally put that someone in their place.

Two weeks ago, over the winter break Hon Su-Yeong had come to visit his uncle and invited Hikaru (and Sai by association) to play at his uncle’s salon, though Su-Yeong wasn’t alone. Ko Yeong-ha had tagged along likely because his own family hadn’t wanted to put with him over the holidays Hikaru assumed. Ko had been obnoxious even when they couldn’t understand each other, but Sai spoke Korean (Hikaru didn’t question it, just like he didn’t question their still active link), and it hadn’t endeared Ko to him in any way. After a game with Su-Yeong and with Ko’s snippy commentary as background noise Hikaru’d had enough and challenged him on the spot. With Sai beside him, leg warm against Hikaru’s under the table, he had been able to relax and focus completely in a way he hadn’t been able to during the Hokuto Cup Tournament when he’d felt alone.

Hikaru had won by two moku. He hadn’t gloated about it, and he wanted to say that it was because he was maturing, but the truth of the matter was that he couldn’t a word in over Su-Yeong’s ragging on Ko’s loss and how he couldn’t wait to tell their fellow players in Korea. Ko Yeong-ha had turned about sixteen shades of red before muttering ‘This isn’t over’ and leaving the salon in a disgruntled huff the most diva of divas would appreciate.

“What are you doing out here?” Hikaru asked.

Sai’s expressive face turned down in a frown. “There is an easier way to find that out,” he stated tapping the side of his forehead, referring to the still functioning link between them.

“I prefer looking at you,” Hikaru replied, because he did, and after months of Sai being around he could admit it now. Sai’s lips tilted upward. “Now what are you doing out here?”

Sai shrugged and gazed upward again. “I was just thinking. You know, in one thousand years the stars didn’t change.”

“Yes they did,” Hikaru immediately refuted softly. Sai’s eyes swung back to him in question. Hikaru moved to sit beside his friend, wrapped his arms around him for warmth, and looked up into the sky. “They added one . . . so, shine brightly, okay?” Hikaru twirled a long lock of Sai’s hair around his finger, looked at him briefly and smiled. He leaned in and placed a chaste kiss on Sai’s mouth, then he stood and returned the way he’d come. Contemplating the universe wasn’t his strong suit; neither was romance, or clever words to convey his feelings, but Sai was a friend who he’d already lost once. Though it may have taken a few months to come to terms Hikaru didn’t want to pass up this new opportunity to be with Sai in every way possible.

Later that Day:

Kosemura shoved a microphone under Sai’s nose as he gushed, “Fujiwara Sai, how does it feel to be a Shodan who has beaten both a reigning Meijin and the current Judan title holder?”

Sai shrugged as he smiled brightly. He probably should have been wearing a suit but was instead in one of his fancier Modern/Heian outfits, top half of his hair pulled away from his face in elegant twists done by Midori--his mother—that morning when she’d come to take them to the game building so that they wouldn’t have to ride the subway. A brightly colored fan swung from his wrist. “I just love playing the game,” he settled on answering.

Kosemura beamed at him in obvious fan-boy adoration. “I’ve no doubt that you’ll rise in the league quickly, if you could choose do you know what title you’d like to compete for first?”

Sai brought he fan to his lips and tapped them twice as he feigned thinking. There really was only one title that he wanted--or should it be said wanted back? “Honinbou,” he stated and then caught sight of Hikaru in the crowd. He rushed off to enthusiastically throw his arms around Hikaru before Kosemura could ask any more questions.

Two days later:

Kuwabara, reigning Honinbou title holder of many years sat at his dining table slurping oatmeal and reading the latest Weekly Go issue. He turned to the page of Sai’s interview and skimmed what the young player had had to say. The magazine fell into his bowl as his hand juddered in his shock and a cold sweat broke across his brow. He felt as though a ghost had just tapped his shoulder and whispered that his time as champion was almost up.

Author Babble
and after horrible reviews that discouraged me from writing more for a time, graduating from college, getting a job that didn't allow for a lot of writing, horrendous bouts of depression and 9 years later, this damn thing is done. i think i covered all the loose ends, if i haven't feel free to ask. this fic was supposed to be much longer, going through the second Hokuto cup in America, where the team of Sai, Akira, and Hikaru (1st string) and Yashiro, Waya, Isobe (2nd string, and yes Ochi got screwed out of the spot on the teams again) and Midori and Kurata as their team leaders were to reclaim their honor and win against the Korean team. yes, there was actually going to be go in a fic about go players (which i have consciously and happily avoided writing, because i liked Hikaru no Go for the characters and story, not the go--though that may be contrary as hell). There was supposedto be a more steady and elevated progression of the romance between Sai and Hikaru, but oh well. And to answer, yes, Isobe Hideki is a real character in the manga (vol 18).

my reasoning at the time (because i wrote it down) went like this: "I think Hideki and Touya are well-suited because if Hideki had been better when he’d originally met Touya they would have been rivals and friends probably. Hideki’s snobbery is tempered by Touya’s desperate need for a friend who won’t be put off by his social ineptness. Besides, Hideki is a minor character who could use some screen time. Also, I was originally going to pair Kiyoharu and Touya together, but I think a slight battle for his recognition may raise his self esteem after being rejected by Hikaru and seeing he’s not the only person romantically interested in Hikaru. I mean, cause, there is Kou Yeong-Ha who is very dashing, who is also better at baiting Hikaru. Then there is Sai, who is depressingly beautiful and Hikaru’s best friend."

and maybe if i liked Touya more i would have written a side-story or two about how Kiyoharu had been affected by Touya's no-nonsense attitude when he'd stayed with him (at Touya's house btw) during the first tournament. and it's been awhile but i do recall Touya calling Yashiro like normal friends and them getting along much better than he and Shindou ever did. and everybody i only pair people together who i think would actually work emotionally and not by proximity *shrugs*

thanks for sticking around all these years and i hope you've enjoyed this fic even though i've had a love/hate relationship with it. (now i've got to polish this up for consistency before posting it elsewhere T_T . . . never again, i swear.)

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