Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for Touya's overzealous Komoku.
Summary: Touya was not aware that a line even existed, but Shindou is yelling something about it having been way back there someplace.
AN: More mostly gen. maybe it's something in the water? This is the first time I've written Sai, i think. Explanations for random Go terms at the end as usual.
Ponnuki--the process of capturing a single stone, leaving a diamond shape which radiates influence in all directions. To be effective, it must be made by capturing stone rather than simple placement; ie, the shape is notable because of what is missing rather than what is present. More info here.
Shindou stared at the white stone. It was still wobbling a little from Touya's play, not quite deep enough to be an attack, not quite back far enough to be claiming territory.
It was kind of a bad move. It was kind of a terrible move. And Touya didn't indulge in the sort of trick play like Shindou did, where a move like that meant something brilliant much later, which meant that this was actually a bad move, and Touya had played it on purpose.
"Are you just fooling around with me or what?" Shindou demanded. "Take it back."
"What?" Touya blinked at him. "I can't take it back, I played it. Respond."
"It's ridiculous." Shindou's voice rose a few notches, and the two men at the goban beside them exchanged a glance and sat back to watch the show. "Take it back right now."
"No." Touya flicked a piece of hair behind his ear and eyed Shindou coolly. "Respond."
"Take it back!"
"Respond!" Touya smirked and Shindou's fingers went white from clenching the edge of the table. "Unless you don't know how."
"You take it—" Shindou growled, then suddenly froze. He looked at the board again, and sorted quickly through all of Touya's moves.
After a few seconds, the silence began to crackle around the edges, and the two neighboring players decided that now was a good time to get some tea, actually.
"You're playing a teaching game," Shindou said quietly.
"You're playing," Shindou's voice ripped through quiet to ear-splitting in a shockingly few number of syllables, "a teaching game with me! You son of a BITCH!"
"Look, you don't have to get so worked up about it," Touya tried, furrowing his brow.
"God, you're such a BASTARD!" Shindou yelled, shoving his chair back and yanking his jacket off the back of it.
"We can just start over if you want." Touya was now starting to actually feel apologetic, and the mottled white and red of Shindou's cheeks was scaring him. "Shindou, I'm sorry…"
"Don't be! It was very generous of you!" Shindou rifled around in his pocket before pulling out a crumpled 2000 Yen bill and slamming it down onto the goban. "Thanks for the game!"
Touya was still sitting perfectly still when Ichikawa came back to make sure he was all right, mouth hanging open. She looked from the money on the board to Touya's stricken face and asked what that had been about.
"I don't know." Touya shook his head a little, the crack in Shindou's voice ringing in his ears.
"Sai-i!" Hikaru whined, flopping down on back on the carpet. "Another teaching game?"
"How else do you think you'll learn?" Sai smiled at him, and the serenity of the smile nettled Hikaru more than anything else.
"Can't we play a real game for once?" Hikaru sat up and pouted, blond bangs flopping down into his eyes. "Please?"
"Hikaru," Sai frowned at him, "I've been playing Go for a thousand years, and you've been playing for less than eight weeks. I'm unsure you have enough stones in that ke for that sort of handicap."
"Sai!" Hikaru said indignantly as he glared down at the stone Sai had played last. "But how am I supposed to guess the right move if I've never seen it before? Can't you just tell me?"
"Merely memorizing joseki loses you two stones," Sai replied, and Hikaru rolled his eyes. If Sai was spouting proverbs already, this wasn't going to be one of Hikaru's better games.
"Here?" Hikaru laid a stone and looked up expectantly.
"No," Sai shook his head, "try again."
"What about here?" Hikaru played a point down; Sai shook his head again. "Here?" Hikaru played the other side, but it was still wrong. "Sai, I swear that if you don't just tell me, I'm going to exorcise you!"
"You cannot win this local battle." Sai gave him an indulgent smile. "The proper move is to play anywhere else on the board."
"Anywhere else on the…" Hikaru let out a scream of frustration. "I HATE this, Sai! These teaching games are impossible!"
"Hikaru…" Sai started to admonish, but Hikaru slammed his goke down onto the board.
"I can't learn anything this way!" he yelled. "I don't have any idea what to do, and your stupid moves interrupt everything else, and then trying to guess what I'm supposed to do ruins my flow! Here," Hikaru yanked a stone out of his ke and slammed it down at random on the lower left of the board, "what's the proper response to THAT?!"
Hikaru glared at Sai, arms crossed, while Sai tapped his lips lightly with his fan and considered the board.
"Ruins your flow, hn?" Sai smiled a little, and that wound Hikaru up even tighter until Sai added, "Perhaps you're right."
"I…I am?" Hikaru blinked.
"Let's play a different kind of teaching game, Hikaru." Sai snapped his fan open, and Hikaru grinned as he swept the stones off the board.
"You're home early." Shindou's mother frowned at him as he came into the kitchen and slumped into the one of the chairs. "Aren't you going to the Touya salon?"
"No!" Shindou said loudly, kicking the table leg.
"Don't you snap at me, young man," his mother said, turning back to the beginnings of dinner. Shindou sighed and folded his arms on the table then, laid his head down on them.
A few minutes later, he was roused from his daze by his mother running her hands through his bangs.
"Are you feeling all right?" she asked, coming around the table a little more to peer into his face. "You've been like this for two days now. You aren't thinking about skipping matches again, are you?"
"I'm okay," Shindou said, letting her feel his forehead and showing her the color of his tongue when she asked. "I'm not skipping anything."
"Did you have a fight with that Touya boy again?" she asked, sitting down in the chair beside him.
"No," Shindou answered quickly, then his shoulders slumped a little more. "Yes. I don't know. I yelled at him. Then I paid him for a game."
"Ah." Shindou's mother blinked and thought about that for a second. "Sweetie, I don't know much about this game of yours…but is paying him anything like calling him a player of…of ill repute?"
Shindou stared at his mother for a second before erupting into laughter at the thought of Touya being a Go prostitute. Tears gathered in the corner of his eyes as he imagined Touya in caked makeup and fishnets working the corner outside of his father's salon.
"Oh god," he gasped for air, his mother patiently waiting for the fit to subside. "Oh god, no, not…okay, maybe a little like that. Oh god."
"Sounds like you need to apologize to him," his mother said.
"He should apologize to me," Shindou replied, slumping back down now that the mirth was over. "A teaching game, honestly…"
"Teaching game?" Shindou's mother blinked. "He must think you have something to learn then."
"He must be a pompous ass," Shindou muttered rebelliously.
"Shindou!" his mother snapped. "Watch your language. You march over to that phone right now and call that boy to apologize! I don't want this getting out of hand and having you mope around here for weeks on end like last spring."
Sulkily, Shindou dragged himself out of his chair and shuffled over to hallway phone. His mother watched until he had picked up the receiver, then turned back to dinner with a satisfied nod. Sticking out his tongue, Shindou punched a number into the phone and scuffed his foot against the carpet until someone answered.
"Waya?" Shindou snickered. "You will not believe what my mother just said…"
"What do you mean?" Hikaru asked, looking up from the stones he was separating into white and black piles.
"A-ah," Sai looked just a touch flustered, if ghosts ever did. "I didn't mean to speak out loud."
"But what did you mean, why you're here?" Hikaru frowned. "I thought you were here to find the Hand of God?"
"I meant that I see why I am here now, in this place. With you," Sai continued when Hikaru continued to stare at him blankly. "What did you think of this teaching game?"
"I liked it more," Hikaru said firmly. "We can play this way more, right?"
"It's a bit unconventional." Sai smiled. "You don't mind me telling you to move your stones? It would make some players very angry."
"No!" Hikaru answered in surprise. "I know where I should play, sort of, but I can't seem to get the right spot exactly. You only move me a point or two usually."
"Only a point or two," Sai echoed, then laughed a little. "They're called vital spots, Hikaru."
"Sure, those." Hikaru scooped all the white stones into one goke, grinning at the clatter. "If I could just nail those suckers down, I bet I could beat Touya Akira plenty. We're rivals you know!"
"Oh, I know." Sai shook his head.
"Shindou?" Touya's voice came uncertainly through the door after the knock.
"Yeah, come in," Shindou sighed, letting his head fall back against the side of his bed. His goban was in front of him, half-covered in angles of black and white. A shaft of sunlight fell over the board, and Shindou watched dust motes drift over the game.
"Your mother sent me up." Touya seemed to be fighting a smile, and Shindou raised an eyebrow. "She said you're in big trouble if you don't apologize to me." Touya paused a beat. "Sulky-pants-sama."
"She said I'm not allowed." Touya knelt down next to the board across from Shindou and looked it over. "What game is this?"
"Just an old one." Shindou knew he should sweep the stones away, but his hands, his whole body, seemed too heavy to move.
"Ah." Touya's glance hung on the mis-placed white stone. "You aren't going to tell me what that was about, are you?"
"No, not really." Shindou shrugged a shoulder. "I'm sorry I yelled."
"You are not," Touya smiled at him, "you're sorry you gave me your 2000 Yen."
"Yes, yes I am." Shindou's return smile was wan, but it was a smile nonetheless.
"Did white go last?" Touya asked, and Shindou nodded. Reaching over the board into the black goke, Touya scooped out a stone and played it on the lower left.
"Wha…" Shindou looked from the stone to Touya and back again. "Why'd you play that there?"
"Hm?" Touya wrinkled his brow at Shindou. "It's the kyuusho. If black plays there, white can't get a good result anywhere on the board."
"The global…vital point?" Shindou said slowly. Touya watched some sort of comprehension dawn in Shindou's eyes, but it didn't seem to be about the game. "It is, isn't it?"
"Yes…" Touya said, eyeing Shindou more closely as he…sniffled? "We can play it out if you want to see…Shindou, are you cr…"
"No!" Shindou snapped, rubbing at his cheek with the back of one hand and using the other to jumbled up the game. "Let's just play, okay? Let's just play."
Touya took white and they played in silence for a half-hour or so, and Touya pretended not to see Shindou using his sleeve to wipe his nose.
"Touya," Shindou said after a little while, voice kind of rough, "you aren't here to like…like teach me something or anything ridiculous like that, are you?"
"Who could teach you anything?" Touya made a little face like he wasn't sure whether he was making fun of Shindou properly or not. "I'm here to beat the pants off you."
"Okay." Shindou drew his knees up to his chest and rested his chin on one.
"The sulky pants."
Shindou narrowed his eyes and flicked a stone out of his goke to smack Touya's forehead.
Shindou's mother called up the stairs that dinner was ready as the game was ending, and both boys stretched a little and blinked at each other in the fading light.
"We can discuss the game after dinner," Touya announced, standing and giving the board a last glance. "Although I think I should have worked that corner harder…"
Shindou curled up in ball and laughed until he ached.
Komoku--a 3-4 play which more or less secures a corner. "working the corner," so to speak.
"Learning joseki loses you two stones" is a Go proverb which means merely learning patterns rather than understanding the play behind them hurts your Go rather than strenghtens it.
Tennuki is playing elsewhere on the board, rather than becoming bogged down in local battles.
Kyuusho is a global vital point; when played, as Touya says, the opponent has a hard time responding not just locally, but over the entire board.
A Teaching Game (shidogo) is considered to be very generous on the part of the teacher, and he should be well compensated for his time, almost always monetarily. Typically the teacher sets up somewhat artificial situations in order to teach the student proper responses.