Hikaru no Go, A Better Person

Title: A Better Person [Shindou/Touya]
Rating/warnings: PG-13 for Go stones in unpleasant places
Summary: Touya doesn’t miss much, but that doesn’t mean he understands Isumi’s point of view.
AN: I rewatched the last few episodes, and OH I LOVE THESE BOYS. Clearly there is room in either of their lives for nothing but Go and screaming at each other.

A Better Person

“What’s wrong with Kurata?” Waya asked around a mouthful of half-chewed hamburger. “You’ve beaten him before, and at least he isn’t a jerk like some of the older pros.”

“It’s a long story,” Shindou shrugged, picking at the last of his fries. “I have half his signature someplace, and if he beats me, he’ll want to sign the other half and I’ll have to admit I have no idea where the damn thing is.”

“Then don’t lose,” Waya said, swallowing.

“I wasn’t planning on it!” Shindou snapped.

Isumi and Touya exchanged glances across the booth, and Touya smiled at Isumi’s eyeroll.

“Yoshitaka!” came a roar from the doorway, making all four heads swivel. Just inside the glass doors, Shigeko Morishita was standing, with arms crossed and foot tapping. “I should have known I’d find you here! We had a date!”

Waya scooted out of his swiveling chair and hustled across the floor, murmuring a string of soothing platitudes about late matches and long fast food lines. Shigeko was eyeing the one woman waiting for her food with heavy skepticism.

“I’m going to refill my soda,” Shindou said, scooping up his half-full cup and sidling over to the soda machine, eavesdropping shamelessly.

Isumi chuckled and went back to eating his burger, but Touya didn’t miss the sidelong glance towards the door every few seconds.

“Forgive me for prying,” Touya said in a low voice, “but I don’t know how you stand it.”

Isumi started, caught, then considered Touya for a moment with a wry grin.

“You don’t miss much, do you?” he asked. Touya shrugged and took a sip of his soda.

“It was rude of me,” Touya murmured after another moment of silence. “Forgive me.”

“Waya wants things,” Isumi said, in the same measured way he said most things, and Touya thought that his face looked not unlike the face he’d worn when he’d taken that beating from the 4-dan last month. “A Go title, proud parents, kids. Hell, maybe I want them too.”

“Hmm,” Touya said noncommittally, but couldn’t keep his gaze from straying towards the soda fountain, where Shindou had given up all pretense of refilling his soda and was now simply staring at Waya taking a verbal beating from his girlfriend.

When he tore his gaze away, Isumi was watching him with a knowing smile.

“It wasn’t Morishita-chan’s doorstep that Waya showed up on after he lost to Ochi,” he commented, and it took Touya a half-second to realize that Isumi was answering his earlier question. “It wasn’t her that Waya called from Kyoto to spend three hours rehashing the last ten minutes of his match. And it won’t be her that goes out drinking all night with him when he wins his first title.”

Touya hadn’t quite worked out an answer to that by the time a shame-faced Waya came to retrieve his bag, and Shindou returned with a soda that he had spent so long refilling that he had already drunk half of it.

He was still contemplating Isumi’s words on the subway ride home as he watched Shindou trace attack strategies on the window with his fingertip. He stopped thinking about Isumi just long enough to smile and wonder if they were spending too much time together, but then Shindou caught his eye in the reflection and grinned.

Touya wondered, as they climbed the steps back to street-level, if Shindou wanted things.

“What’s up with you?” Shindou said as he unlocked his front door and waved Touya inside. “You’ve said like three words the whole way here.”

Shindou hollered to his mother that he was home and began kicking off his shoes without waiting for an answer, and it wasn’t until they were both upstairs and Shindou was kicking his bedroom door shut that he turned and eyed Touya directly. “Well?”

Touya didn’t answer for a minute as he slid the goban out into the center of the floor and knelt beside it. He laid his hands on one of the gokes, tapping his fingers against the smooth cherry wood.

“Do you want things?” he asked, keeping his eyes fixed on the bottom right star point.

“Things?” Shindou raised an eyebrow as he dropped his schoolbag on the floor. “Of course I want things. Are you having some sort of episode?”

“No,” Touya chewed on his lower lip lightly, “I mean other things. Besides Go?”

“No,” Shindou answered, so dismissively that Touya lifted his head before Shindou added an affectionate, “you idiot. Why do you think we’re going to reach the Hand of God?”

Touya grinned, so suddenly and brilliantly that Shindou stumbled a little as he was trying to crouch down on the other side of the goban and landed on his tailbone with a thump.

“What the hell—” Shindou started, but never finished because Touya had shoved the goban out of the way, goke lids rattling as one tipped and scattered black stones across the floor. He seized two handfuls of Shindou’s infuriatingly orange pullover, and pushed him down on his back.

“Ow!” Shindou snapped, struggling. “Touya, you freak, there are stones stuck in my…huuuunh,” Shindou swallowed the rest of whatever he was going to say when Touya sucked hard on the hollow of his throat and slid his hands underneath Shindou’s pullover.

A good deal of time later, there was a sudden knock on Shindou’s door, but fortunately Shindou’s mother merely called that dinner would be ready in ten minutes and didn’t actually come into the room. Touya still couldn’t stop grinning, and he felt Shindou’s eyes on him as they scrambled to straighten their clothes and scoop up the Go stones strewn across the floor.

“Geez, can you get some medication for those mood swings?” Shindou demanded, shaking several stones out of his jeans’ leg, but his lips were wet and swollen, and Touya let the handful of stones he’d been gathering slip through his fingers so he could tug Shindou close and steal another kiss. “If I wanted a girl,” Shindou muttered against Touya’s mouth, “I’d get one.”

That comment was the reason, Touya informed Shindou tartly as they stood on the doorstep after dinner, that Shindou’s mother had insisted Touya go home right after the meal and let Hikaru get to bed early, he could barely keep his eyes open!

“I don’t think I was the one ripping people’s jeans off and blowing the hell out of them. Still,” Shindou chuckled, eyes affectionate and still a bit heavy-lidded, “it was worth it to see my mother spend fifteen minutes telling you about how the chapstick from the herbal shop did wonders for her chapped lips and you clearly need something to help!”

Touya sucked on his bottom lip, which was still puffy, and scowled, cheeks reddening. He turned to go, but Shindou snagged his wrist and looked him over carefully.

“The thing from before,” he asked, “you’re okay, right?”

Touya tilted his head and considered Shindou, shivering just the tiniest bit at the Go calluses that were grazing the inside of his wrist, making him recall several other places they had been grazing before dinner. He spent about a tenth of a second imagining those fingers grazing somebody else before admitting that Isumi was a far better person than he was.

“I was just wondering,” he answered casually, “whether you’ll look just as cute after the Kisei semi-finals. Or is that face only for when you get fucked in private?”

Shindou’s jaw dropped and he spluttered something unintelligible, but Touya saw the flush across his nose and the glimmer in his eyes, and that was what kept the smile tugging at the corner of his mouth the whole way home.

The scream of “I’ll show you who’ll get fucked, you perverted exhibitionist!” that had echoed down the street from behind him, or the shout of “Shindou Hikaru, get in here this minute!” that had followed hadn’t hurt either, really.

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