Rating/Warnings: PG-13 because Touya is still sore from the LAST horizontal tsuke.
Summary: 2 AM is really not the time for deep self-reflection, in Touya's opinion.
AN: This is totally the reason there is no advent fic today. Sigh.
The bed was warm and comfortable, and the comforter was wrapped around Touya in just the right way, but he cracked an eye anyway when he realized there was no whistling snore beside him. Sure enough, Shindou "I do not have allergies" Hikaru was not in the bed, although he had definitely been there when Touya had fallen asleep, as evidenced by the slight ache in the backs of his thighs when Touya sat up.
He ran a hand through his hair and glanced at the clock, glowing green in the darkness. What on earth was Shindou doing at two in the morning that didn't involve warm covers and snoring in Touya's ear?
The wood floor of the apartment was chill under Touya's bare feet as he padded to the bedroom door, and Touya heard the faint slosh of water from the bathroom.
" 'Karu?" Touya asked as he pushed the door open, the first syllable of the name mostly stolen by sleep. He rubbed the back of his hand over his eyes, and his vision cleared enough for him to watch Shindou trail fingers thorugh the melting islands of bubbles in the bathtub.
"I was all sticky," Shindou replied by way of explanation, making Touya snort softly. He shuffled over to the tub, shivering at the cold of it where it touched his thigh, then threw his leg over to climb in.
"S'what happens after sex generally." His hand slipped a little against the side, and Shindou grabbed Touya's waist to help steady him as he sank down into the water, still warm enough to be pleasant. Some more water sloshed over the side with the added bulk in the tub, but Touya found he didn't really care. He'd just make Shindou mop it up later.
Shindou seemed thoughtful, Touya thought lazily as he settled in against him, forehead tucked into the curve of Shindou's shoulder. He was sluicing water over Touya's back with his hand in a steady, repetative motion, lulling him back into sleep, until suddenly Shindou's hands under his armpits were the only thing keeping his mouth from sliding underwater.
"Geez, just drown in your own bathtub, why don't you?" Shindou demanded, hauling Touya up a few inches and locking an arm around his waist.
"Mm," Touya shrugged one shoulder a little and went even limper, then gave a wide yawn. "What're you thinking about?"
"We don't make any sense," Shindou answered bluntly.
"Don't lump me in with you," Touya said. "Just because you lose all your tournaments, I make plenty."
"No, sense, you idiot," Shindou snapped, flicking Touya between the shoulderblades. "Not cents. As in, it doesn't make any sense that we are here right now in this bathtub naked."
"Not when there's a nice warm bed in the other room, sadly unoccupied."
"Touya!" Shindou said in exasperation. "Akira, I mean it."
With a supreme effort, Touya braced his hands against the back of the tub and pushed himself up to peer at Shindou. Shindou was biting his lower lip a little and refusing to meet his gaze, and Touya reached over to smooth Shindou's abused lip down.
"What's wrong?" he asked. Shindou sighed.
"Nothing." Shindou dragged his gaze up at last, and his eyes were dark with that thing that Touya hoped Shindou would actually explain someday. "I was just thinking, you know? You're a freaking genius, it makes sense that I'd have followed you around, but there's plenty of twelve-year-olds who suck at Go. Why would you have been my rival?"
"You wanted to be friends first," Touya reminded, thumb still brushing Shindou's lip lightly. He knew Shindou was trying to be serious, but he didn't like it when Shindou's eyes were dark like that. "I figured, hell, why not cultivate a relationship where I spend hours of valuable study time trying to win badly-made plushies out of UFO machines and gain ten pounds from ramen alone? Just one of those can't hurt."
"Touyaaa." Shindou bit down on Touya's thumb, but the corner of his mouth was quirking up.
"Hnn." Touya flicked Shindou's chin with the back of his finger, then laid back down against his chest, arms sliding around Shindou to squeeze him lightly. "You chased me, because you wanted me. How could I ignore that? No one else ever wanted me."
"And that makes absolutely zero sense," Shindou replied, slipping fingers into Touya's hair and rubbing his scalp. Touya sighed happily, pressing his cheek against Shindou's water-slick skin. "We make sense, right?"
"You're the endgame specialist, aren't you?" Touya teased, smiling when Shindou gave his hair a tug. "You can't know the pattern of the game until you lay down the whole board. You can only know the flow until then."
"Thanks for that moment of zen, Touya-Meijin," Shindou snorted, but then after a few seconds added, "our Go does have good flow, at least."
A shiver worked its way down Touya's spine, like it always did when Shindou uttered the words 'our Go' in that low voice, and Shindou's quiet chuckle brushed against Touya's cheek.
Shindou's melancholy was just a touch catching, it seemed, and Touya found his thoughts turning towards what it would be like if he hadn't let Shindou chase or catch him. If there was no one leaving his stupid 5 T-shirts all over the floor, or eating the most disgustingly sugary cereal every morning, or making the bathroom reek of bleach every 4-6 weeks.
Or waking him up at three in the morning to tell him how he could have won that last game if he'd played at 4-10 instead of 4-11. Or bringing him tea when he stayed up all night with a stack of kifu. Or knocking gokes to the floor and scattering stones in every direction and seducing him into utterly defiling the goban in their room.
There had never been room in Touya's life for anything besides Go, not sleepy Sunday morning blowjobs or horribly embarrassing karoke or lukewarm bathwater being sluiced repetively over his back, but there was room for Shindou, because Shindou was Go, inside and out, it oozed out his pores and steamed in the air when the morning was cold and they were waiting for the train.
If Touya's life before Shindou hadn't only been in right angles of black and white, it wouldn't make him laugh every time he found a bright yellow jersey mixed in with his suits.
"Hey," Shindou said, palm warm against Touya's neck. "You ever think about what we'd be doing right now if we weren't rivals?"
"No," answered Touya.
Another few minutes ticked by, the steady rise and fall of Shindou's chest telling Touya that whatever Shindou had really been thinking about must have passed.
"4-6," said Shindou.
"6-5," answered Touya.
"God, again?" Touya rolled his eyes. "I'm still sore from last time!"
A further author's note, because I'm sure nobody will actually get this joke, but the hand Shindou and Touya just played actually IS a horizontal tsuke (a kosumi tsuke, if you want to get technical). Most of you will have caught on that that's a running gag euphemism for sex in my HnG fic.
I hesitated to explain this here, because I think that takes a lot of the funny out of it, but it's obviously less funny if you don't get it at all.