I made her tell me which movie she wanted and she said Alien. Yeah, I have no idea why there's even a movie in this fic.
Go players in love and other Alien Life Forms.
Rating: PG-13 for a deplorable lack of aliens.
Notes: written for samenashi.
With thanks to toko: "Oh Touya," he said, "whose reaction to one of the classic moments of body gore is to be put-upon. ♥" I am still laughing at this. :)
This is so, so unbeta'd. I apologize, for this, and also for my LOL fake Go strategy. d face.
Kurata's study group has grown steadily since Hikaru started attending regularly. Hikaru has no idea (as Akira does) that it's because everyone wants to study with him, but when Hikaru starts inviting Akira along on the weekends and Akira starts accepting, it quickly becomes evident by the way the apartment starts filling up that the main attraction of these gatherings is not Kurata-san's special western-style chili.
One afternoon so many people show up that they run out of gobans.
Akira and Hikaru play nudged up against the wall in the corner. So many players crowd around that Akira starts to sweat in the cramped space. Hikaru does, too, and Akira tries not to stare at the water condensing against his temple and sliding down his jaw. He tries not to think about it, which means it's impossible for him to think about anything else. There are all these people here, and Hikaru is biting his lower lip in a way that would be a good sign (it means he's having trouble concentrating as well) if Akira could think of anything except how pink Hikaru's lips are, how warm they must be.
The temperature rises. Akira nearly loses track of his formation. He can't take his eyes off Hikaru's jawline, his collarbone, his lips working determinedly together. He nearly starts when Hikaru's eyes meet his - he feels inexplicably guilty, as if he has been caught staring (he has).
Hikaru holds his gaze for a moment, confusion darting across his features. The strange fluttery feelings that Akira has been having around Hikaru for weeks return, jostling his insides like jello.
"Hey, Touya," Hikaru says, voice dropping a little, to something almost furtive, something almost teasing. "Pay attention."
And then he reaches down and places a stone in the center of what had been the dead left corner, a half-finished byproduct of their mutual lack of focus. Suddenly he's in the perfect position to connect through Akira's fortified wall of black in the middle, and Akira nearly spills his goke in shock, because distracted or not, that move is brilliant and devastating, and oh god Hikaru's good, he's grownbecomealwayswas so good. Suddenly it feels as if they are playing for the first time all over again. Hikaru looks up at him with challenge dancing in his eyes, and Akira looks back and slams down his next piece against Hikaru's stone, a tengen that makes his pulse race against his fingertips.
He could swear Hikaru's breath catches in his throat.
And then it's Go, their Go, fast and powerful and crazy and impulsive and just short of violent, and Akira is vaguely aware that people around them are reacting, but he is no longer paying attention; their gasps are only echoes of his own adrenalin level, rising as he and Hikaru attack the left corner. He can see the invisible threads of their formation, twisting and coiling: like a jerky tango, like vines, like ribbon; like Hikaru's messy bangs plastered against his forehead; like he wants the two of them, wrapped around each other and pushing and pulling, struggling for dominance; like things he hasn't been able to put into words before this moment, winding around his stomach and squeezing his chest tight as he slams down the last stone of the run.
He sits back, blinking, attempting to catch his breath, attempting not to let it show on his face. Hikaru is staring at the board. He's also short of breath. Akira wants him to look up as much as he doesn't want him to look up; if he looks up and he sees - if he looks up and he knows. If he looks up and he's still got that challenge in his eyes and Akira won't, he won't have any other respite left apart from dragging Hikaru off somewhere and taking hold and - and -
"BREAK TIME!" yells Kurata. Akira expels all the air in his lungs in a rush, as Hikaru's head snaps up and over to where Kurata is waving around a pile of plastic forks and styrofoam plates. "FOOD IS HERE! COME AND GET IT, EVERYONE!"
The large group around their game does not disperse right away. Akira knows his cheeks must be burning, and the thought that everyone can see him like this makes him flush even more.
"Are you going to finish now or take the break?" Saeki-san says. He speaks almost quietly, like he isn't sure whether or not to break the moment. Akira thinks absently that he can see why Ashiwara likes Saeki. He isn't sure what to answer; he swallows because he's not sure if he can answer.
"Touya," Hikaru says. His voice sounds hoarse, and he isn't looking at Akira. "I - need to take a break."
"Then we will," Akira says, and he stands up from the goban and quietly moves to the other side of the room.
Normally he would wait for Shindou, and they would spend the break discussing whatever game they were in the middle of. The concept of it being a bad idea to feed your opponent strategy isn't something that has ever mattered to them. Now, though, he deliberately makes his way to the hallway, without looking to see where Hikaru is headed. There's a small queue of people waiting for the wash. He stands behind Isumi and tries to calm down, wiping his hands uselessly against the sides of his jeans. "I heard you're in the middle of a good game," Isumi remarks with a smile. "But then I guess all your games with Hikaru are good ones."
Akira doesn't know what to say to that under the circumstances, so he just says, "Kurata-san has a lot of company tonight. It's a bit strange to play like this, but it's good that so many people are coming."
Isumi laughs. "Well, they're excited about the approaching title, and everyone's working harder. But they're really here for the monthly movie, of course."
Akira blinks. "What?"
Isumi turns around. "Oh, Hikaru didn't tell you? Once a month Kurata makes us all watch bad movies. They're infamous. They're usually bad B-movies. Godzilla, things like that."
"Oh," says Akira. "Hikaru didn't tell me."
"His only rule is that you have to stay for the whole thing, no matter how bad the movie gets." He laughs. "Ashiwara-san walked out the first night and Kurata wouldn't let him come back until he found a movie worse than the one he walked out on to share."
"Who picks the movies?"
"It rotates," Isumi says. "Tonight's is - " he chuckles. "Tonight's is actually Waya's."
"Oh," says Akira again. "Well, that shouldn't be too bad."
By the time he has joined the line wrapping around the den for the greasy pork buns and sushi Kurata has ordered, Akira is calm again. Hikaru waves wildly at him and motions for him to join. Waya is behind them; Akira meets his eyes, feeling somewhat guilty about breaking the line (though none of them are children and his guilt makes him feel even more sheepish). Waya just cracks a smile and looks over Hikaru's shoulder toward the food.
"Isumi said it's your week to pick the film," Akira says, trying to sound informal.
"Huh?" Hikaru straightens up from his perusal of the buns to pick which is the biggest, and accidentally elbows Akira in the side. "He told you?"
"Why didn't you?" Akira raises an eyebrow.
"Oh!" Hikaru laughs awkwardly, spreading the hand that isn't holding his plate in apology. "I didn't think you'd come if you knew about the movie part."
"Shindou..." Akira starts, then leaves off, unsure whether to be offended that Hikaru thinks his social skills are so poor he can't enjoy a movie with other Go players, or flattered that Hikaru wanted him to come enough to lie to him.
"Anyway," Hikaru says, spooning sauce on his plate next to the biggest bun he could locate, "you totally wouldn't have come if you'd known we wouldn't get to finish our game."
Akira's eyes widen for one tell-tale moment (their game, their beautiful perfect exhilarating game) before he relaxes and shrugs. "There's kifu," he says nonchalantly. "We'll finish it some other time."
Hikaru looks up at him sharply. "Yeah," he echoes, eyes trained on Akira's face. "When there aren't as many people around."
His voice drops when he says it, still watching Akira. Akira thinks of no one else around, just him and Hikaru.
As an excuse to avoid the look on Hikaru's face, Akira grabs a plate and starts spooning wasabi paste onto his plate, even though he hates wasabi, because out of all the things Kurata has spread out on the buffet table it's the only food that looks as if it doesn't still have a meat processor tag attached somewhere.
"You've changed," Hikaru says suddenly.
"Hmm?" Akira responds disinterestedly, even though he suddenly feels cold and clammy all over, nothing like the heat from their match.
"You're just different lately," Hikaru says. Then, still looking at Akira, he laughs. "Not in a bad way. Just. You wear jeans and stuff." He shrugs and looks down at his plate abruptly. Akira thinks he might be flushing a little.
"Oh," says Akira. He looks at Hikaru.
Waya pokes him in the back.
"Hurry up, I'm starving," he says, but he doesn't sound angry.
Akira lets himself be jostled down the line, bumping elbows with Hikaru all the way. He makes small talk with Kurata-san while he watches Hikaru navigate the crowded room looking for a place for the two of them to sit. He’s not really interested in the movie, whatever it is, but he figures it can’t hurt to seem like it. It’s his first time at movie night, and he wants to make a good impression.
Besides, he thinks as he joins Hikaru on the floor in the corner, well away from the flat-screen, there must have been a reason Hikaru wanted him to come tonight. Whatever that reason is.
"See?" Hikaru says, patting the carpet next to him. "You're making friends and everything."
"...You mean Waya and Kurata-san?" Akira tries to sound amused and not baffled.
Hikaru just shakes his head and tugs him down to sit next to him, nearly sending his food out of his hands and onto the carpet. Akira glowers, automatically sitting seiza until he looks at Hikaru sprawling beside him. Then he readjusts, sitting cross-legged and trying not to bump into Hikaru next to him.
"Hey, you two," Saeki-san calls from his position on the couch. "Just for holding up the line you have to sit in front when we watch the movie."
"You just want somebody to block the screen so you won't have to see the scary parts," Hikaru retorts without turning around. He scoots closer to Akira, as if to say we're staying put.
Akira hides his smile behind the swing of his hair.
"ATTENTION!" Kurata-san booms, having somehow made his way to the center of the room. "You have food, you have blankets, you have pillows -" he points a finger at Mizoguchi 9-dan - "you know your way to the bathroom when you get too scared by the movie."
Mizoguchi-san swears and everyone laughs. Akira shifts and pokes at his food. Hikaru is already reaching for a blanket.
"So what are we watching?" he cuts in on the laughter to ask.
The movie, as it turns out, is Alien, something everyone seems to have heard of but Akira. Of course he can understand rationally why a movie about aliens would be popular. What he can’t understand is why Hikaru seems to like it so much. It’s an old movie, blurry and worn-looking, and everyone’s hair is too big. The dubbed voices are too high-pitched, and they sound the way dubs from before Akira was born always sound: fake and trying too hard to sound American. The story is boring, too, but everyone else is alert. Akira keeps looking around wondering if anyone else looks as bored as he does. Isumi, possibly, but Waya keeps elbowing him in the side and saying “Hey, watch this part,” under his breath, even though Isumi already is; Akira thinks Isumi’s more interested in Waya’s reactions to the movie than the movie itself, but he supposes it still counts.
Except then suddenly the movie isn’t boring, it’s jittery and too calm, and there are strange noises and strange aliens. He sits up a lot straighter and pretends to be unaffected. Beside him, Hikaru munches popcorn and Akira tries to focus on how annoying the sound of his teeth crunching together are, and not on the fact that people are getting eaten on screen. It doesn’t work, though, mainly because focusing on any part of Hikaru means Akira winds up focusing on all the other things about Hikaru: like the way his knuckles keep brushing Akira’s thigh because of how close together they’re sitting, and the way he keeps fidgeting under his blanket so their knees keep bumping together.
The way if Akira wished to he could reach right over and slip his hand over Hikaru’s, underneath the blanket, and no one would ever know. No one except the two of them.
He stares down at the carpet, six centimeters above where Hikaru’s hand is, a splotchy pattern of various shades of brown that makes him long for traditional mats. He tries not to think about what it would be like to touch Hikaru, to linger casually the way Isumi and Waya do, to do more than deliver pushes and shoves and – okay, hair-pulling that one time – the way real friends do.
He looks at Hikaru, his face carved into smooth pale lines by the low glare of the flatscreen. Hikaru looks away from the screen and at Akira, who can’t seem to stop staring at him – at his skin, his eyes, his ridiculous radioactive hair –
and the next thing he knows there are hideous things bursting out of people onscreen, and everyone is screaming, and Akira’s only real thought in the middle of all the shrieking he’s doing is that Shindou Hikaru is a sadist and a bully and a villain who lures innocent Go players into ridiculous gore-fests under pretenses of friendly competition when really it’s just an excuse for him to horrify Akira with – with… really warm hands and surprisingly unsweaty palms and – oh.
Hikaru is holding both of Akira’s hands in his lap. Hikaru practically has Akira in his lap, or at least what is left of Akira. Hikaru shifts so there’s more room for Akira to clutch at his elbow. The blanket he’s been hoarding is all bunched up beside them. He lets go of one of Akira’s hands carefully – reassuringly, even – and then pulls the cover up and over both of their waists.
Akira thinks he’s figured out why Hikaru wanted him to come tonight.
“That’s the scariest part,” Hikaru leans in and whispers, once the rest of the room has quieted down and everyone else is glued to the movie. “Really.”
“Liar,” Akira responds, leaning in closer so they won’t be heard (and not because Hikaru is possibly tugging him there, pulling his hands deeper into his lap beneath the blankets, promising warmth and secrecy and dangerous explorations). His hair swings down as he shifts, brushing the sides of Hikaru’s face. If Hikaru so much as tilts his head up, their mouths will meet. He looks down at their joined hands.
“White gonogo,” he whispers smoothly, eyes flicking back up to Akira’s face. And Akira’s insides turn over, and over, and over again, because of course if he wanted to connect he’d create a hole in the center, and of course it would have to be there, the only move he could make and keep the formation alive, and not only alive but transformed, and how does Hikaru always do that, and whether he’s been strategizing the entire time to come up with that move or whether he just threw it out there off the cuff, at this moment Hikaru is the embodiment of every sexual thought Akira has ever had (plus plenty more he hasn’t had up until this second), and Akira doesn’t know if he can take it.
He draws in a slow breath. Then another. “You’ll lose the top,” he whispers back. “Black diagonal katatsugi.”
Hikaru’s eyes widen. He’s thrown by this, and for a moment Akira searches the board in his mind, looking for a chance for white to connect from the lower left and finding nothing. He’s only vaguely aware of the movie in the background – he thinks someone is getting eaten, but at this point they’ve been getting eaten for at least five minutes so he’s no longer really sure.
“If you’re thinking of an atekomi in the middle, you can’t,” he says, still speaking under his breath. Their faces are still so close, so close they’re almost together, and Akira has a sudden image of their foreheads touching - black and white, tsuke.
Hikaru looks back at him like he’s thinking the same thing. His fingers are still covering Akira’s hands. He starts to reply; then his eyes widen with discovery – they practically sparkle with it.
He shifts up, presses his mouth against Akira’s for a brief, exhilarating moment, and says one of the most beautiful things Akira’s ever heard:
Akira gasps in a way that has nothing to do with being frightened, in a way that even has nothing to do with just having been kissed. “A tetsuji,” he breathes. “Shindou.”
Hikaru grins. “Pretty sweet. I know.”
Akira draws his fingers through Hikaru’s, and places his lips, just barely, against Hikaru’s. They are thin and chapped and small beneath his own. He likes the way Hikaru opens his mouth a little when he does this – like he’s waiting, wanting more. He can taste Hikaru’s breath on his own tongue.
“It’ll never work,” he says against Hikaru’s mouth. “You’ve managed to connect in the middle because you’re a lunatic.” Hikaru hums in satisfaction against Akira’s lips. “But you’ve given black the opposite corner.”
Hikaru pulls back, bewildered. “Huh?”
“P-5,” Akira purrs. “Keshi.”
And now it’s Hikaru’s turn to gasp. “Touya.” He stares. “You were setting me up. The run in the left. It was for this.”
Akira can feel his grin slowly spreading across every part of his face.
“Myoshu,” Hikaru breathes, like he can’t help himself. “I totally love you.”
And he kisses Akira, for real this time.
They’re still kissing when someone turns on the lights and Waya shrieks, “Oh my god, the aliens are HERE!”
Hikaru throws the blanket off the two of them and scoots away from Akira, looking panicky and shaken. Everyone is laughing at them, and all Akira can think is that Hikaru’s right; he really has changed, because in the middle of his mortification – in spite of it - all he wants to do is kiss Hikaru again.
So he does.
He leans over and presses his mouth against Hikaru’s cheek. “You’d better love me after this,” he says coolly. “I’ve already talked to Kurata-san about next time.”
Hikaru breaks away and eyes him.
“Next month, Shindou,” Akira says, pulling Hikaru’s hand into his lap, “I get to pick the movie.”
Writing Akira/Hikaru inevitably fills me with love and glee. I love this pairing and I'd forgotten how much. I really needed that tonight. Thank you, Sam, for making me write this.