Rating/Warnings: PG for impropriety in the Room of Profound Darkness
Summary: There's actually lots of crying in Go.
AN: Once in a while, Shindou and Touya just sort of take over my head for no reason.
It wasn't that unusual for pros to cry when they lost, or even when they won, an important match. Tensions ran high and emotions were suppressed for hours at a time while players sat in silence, and it didn't take much to set you off after that. Title matches were particularly prone to having pros break down, and it was custom to allow both the victor and his opponent have a few minutes alone to collect themselves after the match ended.
Waya had thought that it would be more satisfying to see Touya Akira break like that, but instead, seeing tears course over his face even through the little TV screen in the observation room made Waya feel like he was spying on something deep and private. Everyone knew that Touya was fighting to win the Meijin title before his father…
"Ne, Shindou?" Waya said to break the silence, but when he turned, Shindou was no longer at his shoulder. "Where…"
Movement on the TV caught his eye, and he turned back to see a grainy, black-and-white Shindou coming to stand beside Touya. Touya didn't move, his head still bowed, but Shindou's bobbed a little as he said something earnestly.
"That guy," Waya grumbled, this making him even more uncomfortable for some reason he couldn't quite put his finger on. "Those two are so…"
"Leave it," Isumi said, coming over to stand beside Waya so that he incidentally was blocking the TV from the rest of the room with his body. Waya heaved another sigh and shoved his hands in his pocket.
The official came to the front of the room and was about to clap his hands and suggest they go in for the post-game analysis, but Isumi smoothly inquired about a game he had officiated last week in the Honinbo League. The official lit up, and he began relating the course of the match with sweeping hand gestures.
That would buy them a few minutes, Waya knew as he feigned interest. Isumi was like that.
Touya's opponent had fled the room as soon as the end of the match was clear, which was unsurprising given the amount of tea he'd been drinking all afternoon. It was some 9-dan Shindou barely even knew and had only played once, and Shindou knew that having the Meijin title in the hands of a virtual stranger was what was killing Touya most of all.
Touya didn't lift his head when Shindou approached, tears dripping off his chin to strike his hands, curled in his lap. Shindou remembered a 12-year-old Touya, face still round with babyfat, with the same tears of frustration pouring down them, and he clenched his own hands tightly because he couldn't do anything this time either.
He said Touya's name again and stepped even closer, blocking Touya's body from where he knew the camera was. The idea of other people seeing Touya like this slid sharply through his veins and he had to reach out and seize Touya's shoulder to steady himself.
"Don't," Touya muttered thickly. His hair swung forward as Touya bowed his head even more, and some of the glossy strands clung to his damp cheeks. "They can see."
"They can't, not for a minute," Shindou answered, and because there was nothing else he could say, he said Touya's name yet again and squeezed his shoulder harder. He saw the slight tilt of Touya's body towards him, and wished so hard that he could crush Touya against his chest and let him sob that it made angry tears gather in his eyes as well.
Instead he moved his hand from Touya's shoulder to grip Touya's chin and tilt his head up, then brushed some tears away with his fingers, letting his Go calluses skate over Touya's cheek briefly.
Outside the door, there was the sudden swelling of voices, and the silhouette of the 9-dan appeared against the door. He had gotten caught on his way back from the bathroom by the tide of pros streaming out of the observation room to congratulate him and shake his hand.
That meant they had another minute, and that no one was in the observation room. Opening spotted, Shindou lost no time in dropping to his knees and throwing his arms around Touya's shoulders, dragging him close.
"Shindou!" Touya protested, his forehead pressing against Shindou's neck and one arm slipping around Shindou's waist for a split second before he shoved the other boy. Shindou grazed a kiss over the corner of Touya's eye as he let Touya push him back. "Think about where we are!"
Relief and affection washed over Shindou when he was far enough away to see that Touya's dragon eyes were back. Touya would take the Meijin title for sure during the next tournament, and if he didn't, Shindou would take it for him so that at least it would still be in hands that Touya loved.
He could always give it to Touya for White Day, that would really burn him up.
Shindou chanced another kiss from the infuriated Touya just as the doorknob clicked.
When the crowd of pros and the new Meijin poured into the room, they found Go's hottest rivals already discussing the game, Shindou berating Touya loudly for a formation in the upper right, legs sprawled out in front of him instead of sitting seiza like a respectable pro, and Touya calling Shindou an uncultured swine.
"They didn't even wait for the new title-holder to discuss his own title match!" Isumi laughed. "Those two, ne, Waya...Waya?" Looking over his shoulder, Isumi frowned a little at Waya's disappearance.
In the observation room, hands frozen in the act of re-tying his shoelace, Waya stared open-mouthed at the screen where a flickering Touya and Shindou sat shoulder-to-shoulder.