Hikaru no Go, Metonymy (The Ragin’ Meijin Remix)

Title: Metonymy (The Ragin’ Meijin Remix) [Shindou/Touya]
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for Nuclear Tetsuji.
Summary: Four Meijin matches that Touya Akira doesn’t win, and one that’s still up for debate.
AN: Written for the 2006 Remix Redux exchange. Original story Metaphor by marksykins

Metonymy (The Ragin’ Meijin Remix)

I.

“It isn’t proper,” Touya’s father informed him, face impassive like always, and then Touya Akira threw the closest thing to a temper tantrum that he ever would during his childhood.

Mostly he just clenched his fists a lot and cried.

“I want to seeeee,” he whined to his mother afterwards, his head in her lap as she smoothed his hair back from his face. His head hurt and his nose was still stuffed up.

“Children aren’t allowed in the observation room, you know that,” his mother reminded, and Akira had heard it before, but he pouted anyway. “Especially not for title matches.”

That was a patent lie, Akira knew, it wasn’t like he didn’t talk to the other kids at Go tournaments. If by talked, you meant eavesdropped shyly and shamelessly, but the point was that plenty of them had seen real matches from the observation room and nobody cared if children were there as long as they were quiet.

He was more than a little sure that this ‘rule’ was really because his mother didn’t want to sit in the observation room with two dozen smoking Go aficionados for hours on end. That was why he had appealed to his father instead, and he was still rather stung by the rejection.

But Akira hadn’t been raised to question his father, and his father wasn’t prone to giving explanation, so Akira went in to play their usual game even though his head still ached a little and his eyes felt gritty.

He’d just have to have his own Meijin match, then, he decided, glaring at the board where his nine handicap stones glittered. He tucked his hair behind his ears and clenched his fists, and asked for a second game when the first was finished, and a third after that.

His head was pounding so fiercely afterwards that he had to be put down for a nap, but his handicap was eight.

II.

Ogata was so exhausted by the end of the fourth match that he wanted to just slump to the floor on his back and stare at the ceiling, but it would have gotten his white suit dirty. He needed a cigarette, a shower, a hot meal, a drink, and a fuck, all badly enough that he couldn’t even begin to decide what order the necessities had to occur in.

Two feet away, Touya Akira looked like a three-year-old who needed a nap. His face was blotched red, his shoulders shaking a little, and when he raised a hand to press against his forehead, Ogata caught sight of blood-filled crescents on his palm.

It almost made him laugh, the way that those Touya males looked like they might commit seppuku on the spot every time they lost if there was anything sharp enough on hand to use. He almost laughed, but didn’t, because he and Touya were tied 2-2 for the title, and Touya looked like he could kill a rabbit with his bare teeth right now, while all Ogata wanted was to crawl in a hole and not come out until his every need had been serviced by a stream of ample-breasted girls and silky-haired boys.

Ogata’s knees cracked when he stood, and dammit he wasn’t old enough to feel this old as he excused himself to the restroom before the official discussion of the game began. Any normal person would have to go as well after seven hours of play, but Touya just knelt there, glaring at the board like it was a personal affront to his soul.

Probably was, the brilliant little freak.

He wasn’t going to win the fifth match.

The thought was so sudden and clear that Ogata actually froze, one hand holding his dick and the other pressed against the wall beside the urinal. He tried to shake it off as he tucked himself back in and turned to wash his hands, but he had to admit that the man staring back at him from the mirror was not a man who had any hope of defending his title from a Touya without some sort of supernatural intervention.

Goddammit. Ogata slammed a fist into the tile beside the mirror, angry but not fancying glass lacerations.

“You’re the one who tormented him with the title all year,” an entirely too-reasonable voice said from the doorway, and Ogata’s ancestors must have hated him, because he turned around and found Shindou, eyebrow raised and hands shoved in his pockets as he sauntered over to the urinals.

Ogata turned back to washing his hands, rubbing hard enough that his knuckles started turning red.

“I mean, seriously,” Shindou continued, and Ogata closed his eyes and began have a very vivid fantasy where he tied Shindou down and yanked every bleached hair out of his head one at a time. For starters. “Did you really think it was a good idea to dangle it over his head like you stole his favorite toy or something?”

YES, Ogata wanted to scream, because that was the way it was done, the way he had learned it from pros like Kuwabara when he was Touya’s age, and dammit, younger players were supposed to sit their asses down and take it.

“You don’t have a monopoly on him,” Ogata spat instead, a vicious sort of glee warming his chest when he saw Shindou’s spine straighten in the mirror. “Just because you know how to get him on his back for you, like that’s some impressive trick.”

Shindou whipped his head around, eyes glittering, but Ogata was already gone, the bathroom door swinging shut behind him.

He felt better, and better yet when he caught sight of the pretty, young reporter hovering uncertainly outside the Room of Profound Darkness.

“Ah, sorry!” She blushed and bowed, hair swinging down across her cheeks when Ogata inquired if she needed any help. “This is the first time I’ve covered a Go match, I’m not sure where it’s proper for me to be.”

“Come right this way.” Ogata smiled and put a warm hand at the small of her back to guide her, figuring that while he was still Meijin it was his duty to seduce as many pretty people as possible. It wasn’t like Touya would be taking advantage of the privilege, Ogata thought sourly as Shindou brushed past him angrily to drop in a graceless sprawl at Touya’s side.

Ogata traced one of the girl’s vertebrae idly, making her stiffen, as Touya turned analytical eyes from the board to Shindou, and he smiled thinly when Shindou bit off a sharp reply to Touya’s question and looked away from Touya’s soft, surprised mouth.

Maybe there was a way out of this after all, Ogata smirked as he sat the girl down someplace random and met Touya’s gaze knowingly as he resumed his seiza on the other side of the board. Touya looked confused; Shindou’s fingers clenched in his jeans.

“Excellent game,” he purred, feeling like a few of his needs had been met already.

III.

They all went out for Shindou’s victory, even Ochi, down to the nearest ramen stand where all six of them jammed into a corner booth and bought Shindou noodles until he seriously looked like he was about to be sick right on his commemorative kifu.

It was getting dark by the time they moved onto the bar, neon lights glimmering slickly through the tinted window next to their table. Saeki and Ochi were busy scribbling alternate shapes on a take-out menu and arguing loudly next to Isumi and Shindou, who were balling up pieces of napkin to play 9×9 Go, when Waya leaned over and nudged Touya with his elbow.

“S’matter, past your bedtime?” Waya asked, and Touya, whose eyes had been drooping a little, propped his cheek up on his hand more firmly and scowled. “You’re taking it well for a guy who couldn’t defend his title even once.”

“And where’s your title, hmm?” Touya replied, dropping his eyes to the beer in his other hand. He peeled a little at the edge of the label with his fingernail. “Were you hoping for a scene, Waya-san? Some sort of brawl? Nuclear Tesuji?”

“Maybe if one of you broke the other’s head open somebody else would have a chance,” Waya grumbled, finishing off the rest of his own beer with a long swallow and waving the waitress over for another round.

When he had the new bottle in his hand, he looked Touya over with critical eyes; Touya stared impassively back.

“Dammit!” Waya finally snapped, slamming his bottle down hard on the table. “Do you really not care? Or is it just because it’s Shindou?”

One shoulder had been coming up in a shrug, but Touya froze when Waya shouted Shindou’s name. As if on cue, Shindou’s slightly slurred “Oi, what’re you doing to him, Waya?” cut over the noise of the bar.

“Nothing,” Touya cut him off quickly, turning to meet Shindou’s eyes. They had some sort of silent exchange and when Touya repeated “It’s nothing,” Shindou shrugged and turned back to Isumi.

Since Isumi was looking as well, Waya said god, they’re so annoying, with his eyebrows, and Isumi wrinkled his brow in confusion. Waya gave a soft ‘Keh’ of disgust and turned around to glare at Touya.

“You’re even blushing, you freak,” he snapped, staring at where his hands were curled tightly around his beer. “What’s he going to do, give you the title back for White Day or something?”

“He better not,” Touya said, “because then I can’t rip it out of his hands next year.”

“Did you just…” Waya squinted at Touya and pushed the beer away because obviously he’d had more than enough, “…make a joke?”

“No,” Touya said quickly, lying so gloriously poorly that Waya laughed hard enough to have to press his forehead down on the bar against his wrists. He almost didn’t hear it when Touya added, “If it’s Shindou, it’s okay.”

“Look, do me a favor?” Waya said when he could speak again. Touya raised an eyebrow. “Kick his ass so hard he cries next year, ne?”

“Yes,” Touya laughed, the sound startled and pleased, and as they toasted to it, Touya’s eyes cut over to where Shindou was bouncing wads of paper off Ochi’s head.

Che, that guy, Waya commented with a shrugged shoulder at Isumi, then put his head in his hands when Isumi shouted “What?!” across the table.

IV.

“Here.” Shindou held a bowl of instant noodles in front of Touya’s face and Touya’s eyes flickered up in irritation because Shindou was blocking the TV with his meddling. “And don’t you make that face, you’re going to eat something or I’m going to force-feed you!”

“Hmph,” Touya said, taking the bowl, and Shindou made a satisfied noise and flopped down on the couch next to him. “I don’t remember saying you could come over here and harass me.”

“I don’t remember saying you could nearly die of pneumonia,” Shindou retorted through a mouthful of noodles, but the traces of fear still in his eyes as he looked Touya over made the joke macabre. Shindou looked away to the TV. “What are you watching?”

“Old match.” Touya felt suddenly too embarrassed to say which match, but Shindou’s Go eyes were too sharp to hide it anyway.

“Your father’s first title match, right?” Shindou slurped a noodle thoughtfully. “Man, this tape is all warbly, how many times have you watched this?”

“Hn.” Touya shoved a bunch of noodles in his mouth and did not report that watching this match was part of his ritual before each one of his title matches. Even if tomorrow would be Shindou’s title match, not his; the ritual was helping soothe his disappointment with himself.

“Hey,” Shindou said softly, setting his bowl aside to free his hands for the pretense of putting a palm to Touya’s forehead to check for lingering fever. “You know I’d rather play you tomorrow, right? I won’t have fun, I promise.”

“It’s not supposed to be fun,” Touya said, shaking off Shindou’s hand and looking away. “And you would be playing me if I hadn’t blown the quarter finals.”

“You didn’t blow them,” Shindou snapped, the rush of anger in his voice making Touya look back. “You passed out from disease!

“It wasn’t…” Touya started to protest, but apparently Shindou had been saving this up for a little while.

“Right on the board!” Shindou shouted, clenching his fists and looming at him. “And they had to take you to the hospital and I was trapped in fucking Hokkaido for 36 hours with no cell phone reception and a telegram from Waya that made me think you’d died!

Shindou stopped himself suddenly, chest heaving and eyes glassy, and Touya stared at him with an open mouth for a second before setting his bowl carefully on the coffee table and putting a hand on Shindou’s shoulder. The blanket slipped off Touya’s shoulders when Shindou lunged suddenly, collapsing in Touya’s lap and throwing a tantrum that is mostly clenched fists and crying.

“I won’t do it again,” Touya said when Shindou had quieted a little, snuffling against Touya’s thigh. His hand was resting awkwardly on the back of Shindou’s neck, both of them shaking a little from the outburst. “I won’t, so stop, okay?”

“I really hate you sometimes, you know?” Shindou muttered, voice thick, and turned his head away to face the TV, but left it in Touya’s lap. After a few awkward moments, Touya tugged the blanket over so that it covered Shindou’s shoulder as well, and they watched the rest of the match in silence.

V.

“No! Absolutely not!” Touya shouted at Shindou, arms crossed. “They’ll fire us!”

“They can’t fire titlists, Touya.” Shindou crossed his arms too and stood his ground. “It’ll be fun!”

“Then they’ll just fire me!”

“God, you’re so melodramatic.” Shindou rolled his eyes and turned back to the lackluster stir-fry he’d throw together for dinner. “You do have two other titles, and they call you Meijin in every single article anyway. I just thought we could switch things up a little. Don’t you think playing for the title back and forth like this is starting to get old?”

“Sorry I’m boring you!” Touya’s words made Shindou’s spine snap straight, but by the time he turned around, Touya had already stormed out of the kitchen.

“Shit,” Shindou grumbled to himself, peeling off the apron with one hand and scrunching his hair all up with the other. “Shit shit shit, Shindou you ass…”

He gave Touya a good twenty minutes to calm down before edging carefully into the bedroom with two plates of slightly-burnt stir-fry and a small package under one elbow. Touya was sprawled against the pillows with his hands laced behind his head; the last game they played was still on the Goban sitting on the end of the bed.

White’s win by resignation. Jerk.

“It’s not getting old,” Shindou said quietly, pushing one of the plates into Touya’s hands. “Let’s do it for a million years.”

“You’re an ass,” Touya turned to fix Shindou with a long-suffering stare, “and if you’re going to try to buy me off with food, you should learn to cook. What’s that under your arm?”

“S’for you.” Shindou handed the package over with both hands, bowing, and his eyes glittered with amusement when Touya muttered “for crying out loud” and took it from him. “And I don’t see you making any grand culinary gestures.”

“Shindou, what…” Touya peeled back last week’s Go Weekly to find a clear plastic jewel case with a disc. There wasn’t a title, but Touya had seen that lower left quadrant with its brilliant four-point extension probably five hundred times by then. “This is…”

“We could barely even watch your copy any more,” Shindou interrupted, far too pleased with himself, and Touya noticed suddenly that his fingertips were smudged with black Sharpie. “I talked the Go Institute into lending me the official match tape and then went to that place that’ll make all your stuff into DVDs.”

Touya opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Shindou laughed and told him to hurry up and eat already so they could watch it. It was bad luck to break rituals and all.

*****

“Let’s do it,” Touya said in the Go Institute’s elevator the next morning, making Shindou whoop and fist-pump so hard that the elevator lurched.

*****

“Oh my god,” Waya said, breaking the silence of the Room of Profound Darkness. “They’re going to fire you!”

“They can’t fire titlists,” Isumi chided him absently, but his eyes were still on the board.

Shindou and Touya said nothing, just grinned at each other across the board, hair damp and ties loosened, and when Touya reached across the board to shake, Shindou wrapped his hand around Touya’s thumb and squeezed.

“Shindou,” Touya said when they’d been staring at each other for about five times as long as normal people would while clutching at each other’s hands over a Goban.

“They aren’t looking at us anyway.” Shindou grinned, letting his fingertips brush over the back of Touya’s hand. Touya rolled his eyes and pulled back, but his nails grazed the center of Shindou’s palm lightly on the way by.

“The obvious influence of Shusaku!” One of the officials was rhapsodizing, sounding near tears. “Black’s masterful combination of ancient joseki and modern trick play!”

“That would be great if Shindou weren’t WHITE!” Waya bellowed at him. When the official blinked at him, Waya threw his hands in the air and stomped over to throw himself down angrily beside Shindou. “I can’t believe you two! Switching play styles during a title match! What were you freaks thinking?!”

“We just thought playing back and forth for the title was getting a bit old,” Touya answered, a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth as he snuck a glance at Shindou, who was inexplicably laughing like lunatic.

“Ah,” Isumi approached and peered at the board as well, “but who won?”

“I did!” Shindou and Touya both answered, then glared at each other.

“I was white!” Shindou snapped. “White won by two!”

“But you were using my Go!” Touya jabbed a finger just to the left of center. “Look right here, you would have never stopped this attack with your own style! Mine is clearly superior!”

“Superior to your big fat head!” Shindou shouted back.

“Outsmarted yourselves, hm?” Isumi asked, making Waya muffle cackles, but Shindou and Touya were too involved in screaming at each other to pay any attention. Off to the side, the officials and various spectators were watching with open mouths, while the person in charge of recording the official results was uncapping and recapping the marker compulsively.

The girl who was supposed to photograph the current Meijin gave up and snapped a picture just as Shindou reached across the board and tried to strangle Touya with his own tie.

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