Title: Exhibition Game[Shindou/Touya]
Rating/Warnings:: PG-13 for Waya's choice epithet and Shindou's sexy sweater
Summary: Shindou is disillusioned by more than one person about how discreet he and Touya are.
AN: marksykins, you are my hero on every level. If you haven't read Aftermath, you'll be a little confused about the event Waya is referencing. It's also worth noting that Waya is what Shindou is upset about during Chuban.
And also, English needs a word for you(pl) that Touya Kouyo might actually say. Stupid uninflected language.
Shindou eyes Touya over the goban suspiciously. Although their standing wager is that the winner can ask whatever they want of the loser, Touya made him nigiri this time, which means that he has something in particular in mind and he doesn't want there to be any way that Shindou can claim the game wasn't fair.
It must be really important to Touya, given how much of a lead he has over Shindou. And, Shindou thinks as he forlornly considers his entire dead lower left corner, it's a pretty good bet that Shindou isn't going to like it.
"I resign," he sighs finally.
"My mother asked us to dinner on Sunday," Touya says.
"Tou-ou-ya!" Shindou flops onto his back, narrowly missing one of the packing boxes that are still in their bedroom. It's Shindou's of course; Touya has unpacked all of his boxes and put everything away already, and now he's threatening to defile Shindou's boxes as well.
"You lost," Touya shrugs, "and besides, we have to get the last of my stuff from my room."
"We're in your room," Shindou says peevishly, reaching up to flick the box beside his head.
"My old room," Touya corrects himself. He sifts his fingers through his stones, letting them make a steady, soothing, pattering sound. His voice gains a touch of warning as he adds, "We eat with your family all the time."
"But my family likes you!" Shindou whines, pushing himself back to a sitting position. "They think you're a good influence on me or something ridiculous like that."
"My family likes you." Touya begins separating out his stones to return them to his goke. "My mother even said she'd make ramen."
"I do like other things, you know," Shindou grumbles, but his resistance has clearly taken a hit. He sits up and flicks his stones around idly on the board, purposely getting in Touya's way until Touya jabs a finger into the back of Shindou's hand to pin it to the board and sweeps the rest of his stones into his ke with a final, graceful motion.
"We're to be over there at four," Touya informs him, releasing his hand, and that's the end of that.
"It's not that I don't like Touya's parents," Shindou whines, flopped on his stomach on Waya's couch. "It's just, they're so traditional, and quiet. And…polite."
"I can see how that would be a problem," Waya says, staring out his window. Shindou frowns at him; Waya's been staring out that window practically since Shindou came over, his can of tea sitting mostly full on the sill.
"What's the matter with you?" Shindou asks, lifting his head to get a better look.
"Nothing." Waya runs hands through his hair, ruffling it up even more than usual.
"Waya, don't be stupid," Shindou sits up, tucking his limbs cross-legged under him,
"I can see something's bugging you."
"I know about you and Touya," Waya answers. His nose wrinkles on the word 'Touya'.
"Eh?" Shindou blinks, then his fingertips suddenly start to feel cold. "What about me and Touya?"
"I know that there is a you and Touya."
"Did you hit your head or something?" Shindou fights to keep his voice even. "We've only been rivals since we were twe—"
"I know, Shindou!" Waya snaps, turning finally to glare at Shindou, arms folded across his chest and fingers clenching tightly in his pullover. "Don't give me that shit! I saw you at Touya's Meijin title match!"
"Oh." Shindou swallows, twisting the fabric of his jeans between his fingers and thinking of Touya's cheek under his palm, clammy from tears. The silence stretches out for several minutes, until Shindou finally says, "Well, so what?"
"So what?" Waya stares at him. "So what? You're fucking Touya! I mean, aren't you?"
"Yeah," Shindou lifts his chin and glares right back at Waya, "and so what? He's my rival, isn't he?"
"That's what I'm talking about!" Waya shouts, cheeks turning pink. "It's…it's not right! You shouldn't be…not with someone you play against!"
"Oh, get off it," Shindou snaps back, knuckles turning white from his fingers pressing into his jeans. "You told me last week that you got so worked up from a game with Shigeko that you're still finding stones under the couch!"
"That's different!" Waya drops his gaze. "She's…and you're…she's a girl! And you're fucking Touya!"
"Stop shouting." Shindou sees Waya's reaction with sudden clarity, and although he can feel rage quivering under his skin, distantly realizes his voice is coming out perfectly even. "You don't care that it's a guy or even that he's a Go player, you just don't like that it's Touya."
"Yeah, okay!" Shindou's serenity seems to infuriate Waya even more. "You're right, I don't like Touya, and I like him a lot less now that I know you're his lap monkey! He's weird, Shindou, and he's a snob!"
"He is not!" Shindou's calm cracks a little from the assault on Touya.
"It isn't like he isn't getting something out of you." Waya releases his wrinkled shirt to point at Shindou. "He gets better all the time from hanging around your talent."
"That's 'cause we PLAY all the time!" Shindou grits his teeth.
"He's using you," Waya says smugly, "and as soon as he'd got what he wants, he won't have anything to do with you."
Shindou goes still, flushed cheeks paling.
"Take it back."
"No, I won't," Waya says, "because it's true."
"Take it back," Shindou growls, eyes narrowing and gleaming like stones.
Just then the door opens and Isumi stumbles in, balancing a plastic convenience store bag and a case of beer. He closes his mouth on whatever he was about to say and looks from Waya to Shindou and back to Waya.
"What's going on?" he asks quietly. Waya makes a disgusted noise and turns back to the window.
"Nothing." Shindou hops off the couch and stomps to the door, shoving his feet in his sneakers. "I'm leaving."
"Are you sure you feel okay?" Touya asks, shifting the bag with the wine in it to his other hand so he can put a palm against Shindou's forehead.
"M'fine." Shindou shrugs off Touya's hand and peers over the flowers he's holding at the nearly deserted subway platform.
"You're warm," Touya rubs his fingertips together thoughtfully, "maybe you are catching something. You don't have to come, I can just go myself…"
"I said I'm fine!" Shindou snaps, then sighs when Touya's eyes narrow. "Sorry. Look, I'm not sick, okay? Maybe I'm a little allergic to the flowers or something." He gives a big sniff for show and Touya rolls his eyes.
"You had a fight with Waya, didn't you?" Touya asks when they are settled in the subway seats, making Shindou's fingers freeze where they'd been fiddling with the collar of his sweater.
"How do you know that?" Shindou looks a bit panicky. "Did Isumi call or something?"
"It's not brain surgery." Touya lets the back of his hand brush lightly against Shindou's. "You came home much earlier than you said you would from his apartment and you've been acting strangely ever since."
"Hmph," Shindou says.
"It was about me, wasn't it?"
"Don't worry about it," Shindou mumbles, going back to tugging at his collar. "It was just the same old stuff."
The rest of the trip is mostly in silence until they are standing on the Touyas' doorstep.
"Stop that," Touya reaches over to knock Shindou's hand away from his collar, "you're going to stretch it all out, and I like that sweater on you."
"What?" Shindou blinks, letting his hand fall.
"It makes your eyes greener." Touya's smile makes the knot in Shindou's stomach loosen a little, and he smiles back. He's completely unprepared for Touya to lean over and kiss him quickly just before the door opens.
"I'm allergic!" Shindou, blushing furiously, exclaims to Touya's mother, shoving the flowers into her hands while Touya stifles a snicker with the back of his hand.
Shindou has been to Touya's house for dinner approximately a dozen times over the course of the last decade, but he never feels any less awkward when he steps into the alcove to toe off his shoes while Touya makes small talk with his mother. Partially this is because everything is so neat, making Shindou feel like he has to set his shoes up exactly parallel against the wall. Partially this is because Touya's mother's small talk, which revolves primarily around the health of Shindou's mother and school, reveals that she knows next to nothing about Go, and thus about her son's life.
And also because she then inevitably calls for Touya Kouyo to come and greet them, and Shindou will never stop feeling like he is twelve and on his ass on the floor as he stares up into the former Meijin's severe expression. It doesn't help that Shindou is still standing down in the alcove, and Touya's father is a full step up on the real ground floor.
Shindou follows suit when Touya gives his father a formal bow in greeting, and wonders if the Touyas are aware that they are not, indeed, the imperial family. How could Touya, who likes to sneak up behind Shindou constantly just so that Shindou will grab him in surprise, possibly have grown up in this house where nobody even hugs hello?
"Dinner will be ready in about a half an hour," Touya's mother says, taking the wine and the flowers from them.
"We'll finish gathering up my things upstairs then," Touya answers, giving another small bow. He catches Shindou's eye and tilts his chin towards the stairs, then turns to go, Shindou trailing behind.
Touya's door is barely closed before he has Shindou pressed up against it, one hand on Shindou's waist and the other pinning his shoulder.
"Touya!" Shindou hisses, the image of a looming Touya-san dimming his usual ardor.
"Did I mention I really like that sweater?" Touya's eyes glint wickedly and his breath is warm against Shindou's neck, and when Shindou surges forward to try and escape, Touya shoves him back into the door with a loud whump.
He catches Shindou's lips with his own before Shindou can voice any other protests, and the terror of where they are and who is downstairs dims past Touya's palms sliding under Shindou's sweater.
"What was that crashing noise?" Touya's mother asks when they sit down on the tatami next to the low table. Shindou reaches for his water glass and takes a long slip to try and cool the blush on his cheeks and hopes his hair isn't obviously mussed. All stupid Touya has to do is run his fingers through his hair and it flows back into place like water.
"I knocked some books off my desk," Touya answers smoothly, and a moment later Shindou chokes on his water when he remembers that they took Touya's desk to the apartment last week.
"Are you okay, dear?" Touya's mother peers over the table in concern as Touya whacks Shindou on the back. "You look flushed."
"I think he's coming down with something." Touya smiles serenely while Shindou glares at him and wipes the tears away from his eyes with the back of his hand.
Hoping to draw the attention away from himself, Shindou makes a big fuss over the ramen, which actually is really good, and soon has Touya's mother blushing prettily from the praise. Since Touya and his father eat the same way that they do everything, with all the social skills of a rock garden, Shindou spends the majority of the meal being the only one talking. It's embarrassing, but it's better than the silence that he's endured at the Touyas' before, and Touya's mother seems to appreciate the effort.
Shindou is about to ask if Touya's mother wants help carrying the dishes into the kitchen when Touya's father clears his throat, making Shindou jump a couple inches.
"I'd like to watch the two of you play a game," he says, face impassive. "If you don't mind."
It's not a request, and Touya dips his head in a nod before Shindou can even get his dangling jaw back into a polite position. Shindou turns to Touya's mother for a few more moments of safety.
"Do you want any help?" he asks, pretty sure his voice didn't squeak that badly, but Touya's mother waves him off.
"No, no, you boys go on," she smiles cheerfully while tossing Shindou to the wolves, "and I'll bring in tea in just a few minutes."
"We'll wash our hands and be right in then," Touya says to his father, having picked up on Shindou's attempt to stall, and at that moment Shindou loves him even more for that than for beating Ochi by four moku last month.
Side by side at the kitchen sink with their sleeves rolled up, Touya leans just a little closer so that his words won't be overheard by his mother, wsho is bustling about with the tea things right behind them.
"Stop asking me that," Shindou hisses back, then stops with his wrists resting on the edge of the sink. "Why's your dad asking us to play for him? Isn't that weird?"
"No?" But even Touya sounds like he's guessing as he lets the water sluice suds off his fingers. "What's the difference? People watch us play all the time."
"It's not the same," Shindou says, but he can't quite explain why, and Touya gives him a small shrug with one shoulder and uses his wet fingers to smooth a stray piece of Shindou's hair down behind his ear before handing him a dish towel to dry his hands.
His certainty that there is something going on here is cemented when he follows Touya through the sliding door into the Go room and Touya's father meets his gaze with eyes that can probably see more about him than that Insight thing the one guy does on that ridiculous tennis anime that Touya is addicted to.
The ex-Meijin is already sitting, arms and legs folded, on one side of the board, and Shindou rubs the back of his neck as he's sitting down in one of the players' spots to keep the hair from rising. He catches Touya's eye and raises an eyebrow just slightly, but Touya only gives him another one-shoulder shrug.
"Nigiri?" Shindou asks weakly.
"You can have black," Touya answers, handing over the goke, and it loosens Shindou's shoulders like a good luck hug.
"Onegaishimasu," Shindou says, and Touya starts a little because he had been about to forget the formalities. Shindou smiles just a little at the chagrined "Onegaishimasu" Touya gives him in return, relieved to know he isn't the only one who's nervous.
The first few hands are familiar, soothing Shindou's nerves, and by the time Touya slams down a stone in challenge to the upper right cluster Shindou has going, Shindou slaps down an answering stone almost immediately just so he can grin right back at Touya's dragon eyes. He drums his fingers on the side of his goke a little, because Touya will know he's really tapping the fan. It's silly to find the thing every time he plays Touya, and Touya said once that Shindou doesn't need the fan to have a fan.
Disturbingly, Shindou had actually understood that.
Touya's Go is a little stiff, understandably, so Shindou teases him a little, pushing his attacks just this side of too deep and skipping to clusters all over the board to make Touya chase after him. Raising one eyebrow at Shindou's childishness, Touya puts a stop to it with one firm pa-ching, and Shindou sticks his tongue out at him. Touya states himself more clearly by killing an inconsequential cluster of black, and Shindou grudgingly agrees to be more serious by breaking up a white shape on the left side.
Both of them jump when Touya's father sneezes.
"Forgive me," he says quietly, and Shindou fights to hold in laughter. He's not even sure why it's funny, but he assumes the fact that Touya's next move makes the 14-5 cluster look like a smiley face means that Touya's trying not to laugh as well.
Shindou's going to lose by two moku, but he refuses to resign in front of the Meijin, so they play it out. Touya's eyes are long-suffering when he realizes what Shindou's doing, but they're full of pride as well, especially when they cut a little towards where his father is sitting, and Shindou is glad that Touya took this game.
"Thank you for the game," Shindou says, just as Touya is opening his mouth to do the same, and he does let a little laugh escape at the way Touya's lips purse in irritation.
"Excuse me," Touya says, climbing to his feet, and Shindou can see him flexing the pins and needles out of his ankles no matter how long Touya claims he can sit seiza. "I have to use the washroom before we discuss the game."
As he exits the room, Shindou stretches his shoulders a little and notices that it's growing dark outside.
"I thought so," Touya's father says, peering at the board, and Shindou freezes. He can't possibly know just by looking at the game…but Shindou sees a sort of resignation settling stoically on Touya Kouyo's face and knows that he has just outed them on the goban as surely as if he had outlined the kanji with the stones.
Wincing as he glances over the twisting shapes of black and white, he thinks he may have even drawn illustrations.
"Sir?" Shindou wonders if perhaps he's going to die now. But then a few moments go by and Touya's father doesn't say anything further, and Shindou feels a strange desire to let him off the hook of whatever he's going to say. "Uh…I know. What you're going to say, I mean. That you know. I know that you know that we…" Shindou isn't sure if this can actually get any worse, but he thinks maybe he should shut up and not find out.
"When I was your age," Touya-san says in a slow and measured voice which leads Shindou to believe he might not be killed, "I knew that I would find the Hand of God."
There is another pause as Touya's father surveys the board again, during which Shindou bites down hard on his knee-jerk response of "That's nice."
"Of course, at the time I thought," Touya's father continues, "that I would find it in my own Go, rather than yours."
"Ours?" Shindou echoes, eyes wide, and he suddenly takes back every internal comment about Touya bowing to his father, because Shindou wants to bow to him right now, bow until his forehead is flat on the tatami.
"Ogata says that no one can reach the Hand alone." Touya's father reaches out and touches a fingertip to one black stone, then to a white one, then another black, another white. "I see what he means."
"It must be as you say, Touya-san," Shindou's voice is faint because he is busy contemplating how the ability to read so disturbingly and accurately into someone's Go must be some kind of ancestral Touya bloodline trait, "since you figured us out by looking at this game."
"I knew about your relationship with my son before." Touya's father sits back and fixes Shindou with a cold stare. "I saw the tape of Akira's Meijin match."
"Son of a BITCH!" Shindou bellows, and behind him he hears Touya's startled gasp and the smash of a teacup on the floor.
"Ne, Touya?" Shindou asks on the way home, the corners of the cardboard box on his lap digging into his thighs. "About before."
Touya turns to look at Shindou over his own box, a trace of the suspicion in his gaze that still hasn't faded from when he walked in on Shindou hollering swears at his father. "Yes?"
"Waya knows about us." Waya's words still sting Shindou, but they don't carry the weight that they did six hours ago. Shindou smiles tiredly. "The Meijin match."
"Dammit, Shindou!" Touya lets his head fall back to bang against the subway window. "I told you not to…" The rest of Touya's sentence trails off, and he looks Shindou over more carefully. "You don't seem as upset as before. Did he call?"
"Nah," Shindou shrugs, "Waya'll get over it. Something more important came up."
"What are you talking about?" Touya narrows his eyes when Shindou flashes him an enigmatic smile. "God, you're a freak."
"But I'm your freak," Shindou says smugly, sidling closer to Touya on the seats until Touya demands peevishly to know if Shindou didn't learn his lesson about public places already.