Fic: Resolute, Hikaru no Go, for daisy_chan Title: Resolute Author: oneangrykate Fandom: Hikaru No Go Pairing: Hikaru/Akira, more pre-slash than anything. Rating: PG Recipient: for Daisy_chan Notes: My first Hikaru No Go fic. Thanks for dorrie6 for egging me on and jubilancy for not laughing at me too much when I was pulling out my hair.
Winter finally begins to thaw into spring, bold yellow flowers springing up through the thinning snow, and Hikaru thinks that it isn't a moment too soon. People are more cheerful, and everyone is still optimistic about the new year and still attempting to hold to their resolutions.
Hikaru's resolution (and he has to stick to one because one is hard enough to keep): to be more of a friend to Touya. It's not that he doesn't consider himself Touya's friend to begin with, but other than Hikaru, Touya seems to have acquaintances more than any actual friends. There are his fellow professionals, there are the crotchety old men in Go salons, but the trouble with Touya is that he forgets how to laugh and have fun and be his own age. It isn't that Touya's incapable of having fun, he just needs some gentle nudging here and there.
Hikaru's been doing alright at the nudging so far. That is, he thinks.
They're playing speed Go in Hikaru's room when Touya's phone rattles in his bag. Hikaru hears a good deal of the conversation; both Touya and his mother speak slowly and distinctly, as if they're speaking into tin cans strung across the ocean. Touya Kouyou has collapsed at an exhibition match in Seoul. Touya's mother assures Touya not to worry, and that the doctors are very optimistic about his recovery time. Hikaru's stomach twists in empathy; at least everyone had been able to rush to the hospital within minutes the last time.
“Are you going?” Hikaru asks when Touya ends the call, disregarding the fact that eavesdropping on a sensitive conversation wouldn't necessarily be tolerated by regular people. “We could look up flights and get you into Korea by tonight. Or tonight, that is, I forget the time difference but at least you'll be there. I could...” He wants to offer to come along, but he doesn't know if Touya would take it the right way.
Touya shakes his head. “They don't want me to come.” He sets his phone back in his bag and pulls his knees up under his chin. “They say... they say that it isn't dire. He's stable, and alert, and he doesn't want me to disrupt my schedule on account of his health. I'm to go on as usual, and my mother will keep me informed as to his condition.”
“Is that what you want to do?” Hikaru remembers what he was like the last time his father was in the hospital. Thinking about that time also makes him think of Sai, and he has to look away for a moment. Sometimes he looks over his shoulder at the end of a particularly good match, still half-expecting Sai to be smiling down on him, warm as a sunbeam. “Seriously, Touya, if you want to go then you should go. It's better than you freaking out all over the place and worrying.”
“Who's worrying?” Touya places his chin on his hand, regarding the board, and Hikaru doesn't want to go back to the game, not when Touya, who's supposed to be his friend or something, is sitting here lying to his face.
Touya doesn't look up. “What?”
“No more Go today.” Hikaru pushes himself away from the goban and makes a show of stretching. “It's time to go outside.”
Touya blinks at him as if Hikaru's just spoken in one of the few languages he doesn't understand. “Outside?”
“Yes. You know, outside? That place located beyond the door of go salons and exhibition halls? That outside world?” Hikaru's heard countless stories about the benefits of playing past personal setbacks and tragedies, and he's respected that, he's played past setbacks of his own, but he can't just sit here and watch Touya pretend that everything's alright.
Touya raises an eyebrow. “Is this about the fact that I was about to beat you?”
“I – no. You were not about to beat me. I just...” Hikaru crosses his arms in the hopes this will convince him. "Consider this a pause. A pause in me continuing to beat you soundly."
“So you say.” Touya sounds doubtful, but he's still standing up and pulling that ridiculous sweater of his over his head.
Hikaru grins. He hadn't expected Touya to give in that easily. “Hey, delude yourself all you want if that's what gets you out the door.”
“So.” Hikaru slurps up the last of his drink and tosses it into the nearest trash can. “Do you want to go see a movie, or does Mister Pro Supreme not do such lowly things?”
“I go to movies,” Touya claims. “Maybe not the type that you'd go to see, the kind with lots of explosions and giant robots, but I do.”
Hikaru shakes his head, because who doesn't like giant robots? “Sure. Next, you're going to tell me that you have a life outside Go.” Touya just shrugs and walks ahead of him. “I didn't think so,” Hikaru calls after him.
They settle on a movie with just one explosion. When it happens, Hikaru is the one who jumps and grabs Touya's arm, but Touya is merciful enough not to mention it afterward. When they exit into the dusk, Touya slides his hands into his pockets, hunching his shoulders. Hikaru thought that things were going well, that he'd succeeded in easing Touya's troubles for the evening, but now he's closed off and latched shut.
“Do you want me to come over? We could play speed Go and rot our brains with junk food.” He imagines Touya locking himself in his family's big, empty home and staring at kifu until his brains ooze out his ears. Friends don't let friends' brains ooze out their ears. Friends don't let friends stay miserable.
“I need to tutor in the morning. Sorry.”
“Okay, okay, but we can, uh.” Hikaru fishes wildly for a Plan B. “We can talk about it. Anything, I mean. If you need to talk. If you need anything.”
“I don't need cheering up, you know.” Touya suddenly looks really weary, as if he's been grueling away at four-board Go all day. “He's going to be fine. I'm fine. You don't need to babysit me. I can take care of myself.”
Hikaru doesn't believe him at all, but he still lets him onto the train by himself.
They don't see as much of each other in the next few days. Touya squeaks a victory past an anemic-looking 6-dan, and Hikaru only dials Touya's number about half of the numerous times he picks up the phone. Touya's father is improving rapidly, they say, and he'll be able to travel again in about a week. Which is wonderful, but in the meantime Touya's been even sulkier than usual and brushing off any of Hikaru's attempts to distract him.
“Earth to Hikaru?” Waya waves a hand in front of his face. “Come in, Hikaru? We need you down here.”
“I'm here,” he fibs.
“Riiiight.” Waya rolls his eyes. “I know you, Hikaru. You're spacing. What is it?”
Hikaru admits to thinking about Touya enough as it is; he doesn't feel like giving Waya yet another thing to tease him for. “Have you ever had a recurring nightmare where your hands separate from your wrists in the middle of a match and start making horrifically amateur moves, and when you try to stop them with your arm stubs, they leap on top of you and poke you in the eyes?” It isn't misdirection if he's actually had that dream, right?
Waya blanches. “Thanks a lot. I certainly will now!”
“Heh,” Hikaru says, and proceeds to come back from behind and blow Waya out of the water.
Hikaru wanders around with no real destination after leaving the institute, anything not to return home. He gets pulled into a flower shop by the bright yellow and orange display, florists after his own heart, and then spends so much time looking around that he feels obligated to buy something. The daffodils catch his eye for obvious reasons, and he's got just enough coins in his pocket to pay for a decent-sized bunch.
The clerk makes a big show of wrapping them up in fancy tissue paper and ribbons, and it occurs to Hikaru that she must think they're for a girlfriend. He wants to correct her and say that they're not for anyone, and then it occurs to him that of course they are.
Hikaru's hastily made but stealthy-enough plan is blasted to pieces when Touya actually opens his front door.
“I wasn't actually expecting you to be here,” he blurts out. “I was planning on ringing the doorbell just in case, then leaving these on the doorstep for you to find and wonder who they were from. Not that they're secret admirer flowers! Just flower flowers.”
He is so busted.
“Is that so?” Hikaru can't tell if Touya isn't smiling because he doesn't want to smile, or because he doesn't want Hikaru to see him smile. Unpeeling the layers of Touya's possible emotions and reasonings is difficult at the best of times. Now, he feels like he's going crazy just thinking about it.
Hikaru nods a lot and hopes that Touya doesn't mind him showing up out of nowhere. “I'm doing a good deed.”
Touya looks at him, then at the flowers, then at him again. “My father just called. He sounded very well. I'm supposed to give you his regards.” He takes the daffodils when Hikaru offers them, and Hikaru's mother would say that they bring out Touya's eyes. Maybe it's just that Hikaru can't stop staring at them. “These flowers are... they're very you.”
“You can say that you don't like them if you don't. I mean, I won't take it personally, these were just the ones I liked the best.” He wants to say that it's okay for Touya to be worried, that Hikaru's sorry. He wants to say a thousand things, and he can't even wrap his head around several of them. “And they say that flowers mean things, but there are so many kinds that I don't know what they all mean, and so if daffodils mean something, I hope it's something good and not-”
Touya holds a hand up, and Hikaru stops as abruptly as if it were being held over his mouth. “No, I. I believe I know exactly what you're trying to say.” He hesitates on the threshold, regarding the daffodils, then opens the door more widely with his free hand. “I'm glad that you came,” he says, reaching out to gesture Hikaru in. “We'll put this in a vase, and then we can play.”