Rating and Warnings: G for Go, poorly played
Summary: Touya is so freaking confused.
AN: This isn't brilliant or anything, but I just wanted to write poor Touya flustered and badly dressed. PS--big dweeb=me because when i was looking up how to spell 'joseki' i ran across some go bowls and actually said out loud "god, those are sexy".
This Isn't the Freaking Heian Era
"What's the matter with you?" Shindou demands, snapping Akira out of his daze. His eyes focus on the goban, and he stares at the white stone that is in a ridiculously bad position. Not because he has some genius tactic planned for twenty moves later when he will snap down a stone with a victorious pa-CHING and all will become clear, which is what would happen if Shindou had made a move like that. Instead, it's because he was thinking of the girl his mother invited over to dinner last night.
Akira is nineteen, and he isn't an idiot. He can read the kifu on the wall.
"It's nothing," he answers Shindou. He slumps in his chair, which for Akira means that his shoulder blades actually touch the back of the chair, and reminds Shindou that it is his turn.
It had been the fourth girl this month, and Akira would be hard-pressed to come up with much difference between them. They were all pretty and polite, with long, straight hair and hands that no doubt spent most of their childhood curled around a teapot.
The first two had been barely worth mentioning, but the third one had known how to play Go. Akira had looked across the table at his father, whose expression was smug and expectant, and realized that he had been playing a game for some time without realizing it, and clearly no handicap was being offered.
The whole thing depresses Akira, and he's just socially aware enough to know that it's a bad sign that it depresses him.
He hasn't told anyone about the girls, although he suspects that Shindou knows about it. Sometimes he thinks Shindou might be laying down sentiments of comfort and sympathy in his unorthodox scatter of black stones, but Akira is used to seeing patterns in Go stones which are only in his head, and knows that the only thing crazier than seeing them is asking if anyone else sees them too.
"It isn't nothing," Shindou insists. Akira continues to stare mulishly at the board until he feels something smack his sternum even through his clothes. He looks down and finds a black stone in his lap. Shindou is glaring at him. "You're playing like a girl, Touya, now tell me what's wrong!"
Akira wonders exactly how the girl from last night does play, and the desire to ask Shindou about joseki divination bubbles up in Akira's chest along with nervous laughter. Akira smothers both.
"God, you're impossible," Shindou snaps, crossing his arms and glaring harder. "Look, I know about the girls already, okay? So go on and say you're miserable, and I'll say that sucks, and you can tell me what pinheads they are, and then we can actually play some damn Go!"
"I..." Akira peers at Shindou in miserable confusion. "You know?"
"Yeah, well," Shindou shrugs, slumping back against his chair, and he at least has the grace to look a little sheepish, "Izumi played some girl the other week who kept asking all these questions about you, and I've seen your father chatting with some of the men here about their daughters, didn't seem like he was trying to pick up a date for himself."
"Oh," Akira says flatly.
"If you ask me, he's going about it completely the wrong way," Shindou blathers on, "trying to set you up with some Go bimbo who wouldn't know the Tsuko Diagonal if it bit her on the ass. He'd be better off sticking with the traditional ones, he might have a chance of marrying you off to some girl you could just ignore."
Akira doesn't mean to laugh, but the idea of Shindou criticizing his father's strategies borders on ludicrous.
"Then at least somebody might dress you right."
"There's nothing wrong with the way I dress!" Akira's spine straightens and he narrows his eyes at Shindou, who laughs.
"Contrary to what you seem to think, lavender is not the new black," Shindou teases, and Akira can read relief in the way the corners of Shindou's eyes relax, like he has been lost for a few moves but is now slipping into a familiar game. "My mom's been doing it too."
"Really?" Akira struggles to imagine Shindou meekly enduring the sort of indignity he has been suffering under the expectant gaze of his parents. When his brain creates an image of Shindou with his arm casually slung over the back of some girl's chair, making her giggle with bad jokes and pushing his hair out of his eyes with Go-callused fingers, something twists in his chest.
"Yeah, it's humiliating," Shindou gripes, and the knot loosens a little. "I've told her to stop, this isn't the freaking Heian Era or something, but she won't give up."
"What are you going to do?" Akira asks, hoping he doesn't sound as desperate for a clue as he feels.
"I'm going to stop eating dinner at my house," Shindou announces darkly, startling another rueful laugh from Akira. "Speaking of, I'm starving, want to come get some ramen with me? And after that you owe me a real game."
Shindou stands without waiting for Akira to actually agree, because obviously he will, and Akira stands as well, reaching out to help Shindou separate the black stones from the white. Everyone else allows their opponent to pick out their own stones before sweeping theirs into their goke, but this is faster and Shindou is always in a rush to go on, next game, next meal, go go go.
Their fingers brush in a way that Akira has never thought to think about before, fleeting touches to flick stones out from around each other's piles. It seems suddenly intimate, and Akira lets his hair fall forward because he has the sinking suspicion that he is blushing.
"Touya," Shindou says suddenly, making Akira twitch. He tries to snap his hand back to his side, but it's stuck to the goban, and when he looks down, Shindou's hand is covering his, pinning it in place.
Akira bets that Shindou has never held a teapot.
"Touya," Shindou repeats, voice low. He raises his head and stares at Shindou in utter, helpless confusion. Shindou very carefully, as though Akira will spook at any moment, moves around to Akira's side of the board without letting go of his hand, leans in, and presses their lips together. Akira's eyes are wide open.
After a handful of heartbeats, Shindou pulls back and eyes Akira critically.
"What?" Akira demands miserably. There should be more words in that question probably, but Akira can't make any of them go the right way.
"You idiot," Shindou murmurs, brushing the hair out of his eyes with his free hand, "I've been trying to tell you with my joseki for weeks."