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Chapter 1 - Reminiscence

AU. Hikaru never entered the professional Go world, opting instead to placate Sai with NetGo and Go Salons. Years pass by and now Hikaru is a normal office employee going about his daily life until…

Chapter 1 - Reminiscence

Chapter 1 - Reminiscence

He had won. It wasn't by much, but it gave him a sense of pride to know that he'd been able to hold his own against an insei. Go had been an obsession for him during his early teenage years, and yet after he'd been swamped with exams in the latter part of high school, it was slowly forgotten. It'd become a memory far in the recesses of his past. Though now that he thought about it, Go had always been a constant in his life, starting with his grandfather's useless persuading of him to learn it, then along came Sai and his nagging insistence to play the game. The Go club and its members during his high school days were there for him too, and Akari. It was always Akari, the ever vibrant and faithful childhood friend who never gave up on him.

Shaking himself out of his thoughts, he turned to the boy before, smiling comfortingly. It was the polite thing to do, after he'd stomped on the child's pride in a game. "It was a good game. Don't be discouraged here, you'll get better."

The child merely looked up at him, eyes glistening with unshed tears and nodded in agreement. He would become stronger, Hikaru knew as he looked at the child's determined gaze. 'Yes, he definitely will.'

Smiling to himself, Hikaru thanked that child for game loud enough for him to snap back his attention to him, rather than the continuous stare at the board. Grinning at the child sitting across from him, he gave him a response, "Don't worry, you'll definitely improve."

With that, Hikaru stood up; removing his suit jacket from the back of the chair and sliding it back on. Walking to the counter, he asked for his suitcase and umbrella before silently leaving the salon. All the way home, he kept replaying the game he just played over and over in his head. There was just something about that game that kept nagging at him; sure the child had potential, a lot of it too from what he could see. As he reached the apartment door to his home, the sudden revelation of why the game nagged at him hit him, why the way the game flowed both enamored and greatly disturbed his mind. It was the way the hands were played that had him take notice at first. The child had played quite a bit like Sai did, except on a much lower level. The child was merely a child after all, it was not expected that he would have Sai's sage-like play at that age, but he would grow. Yes, he definitely would.

Finally opening the door to his home, he was greeted by the sight of his wife bustling around, papers and a pen stuck firmly between her lips as she carried a steaming pot from the kitchenette to their small living room that doubled as a dining room. Quickly discarding his shoes at the doorway and dropping the suitcase by the kitchenette entryway, he went over to help carry the steaming pot to the low table in the living room, placing it carefully on a coaster. Turning around, he was regaled with the happy and smiling face of his wife, with papers and pen now in hand and her large chocolate brown eyes shining in gratefulness at his help. "Welcome home, Hikaru."

Smiling back at the sight, Hikaru answered, "I'm back, Akari."

All thoughts of the Sai's Go-like playing child dissipated from his mind as he sat down to eat dinner, basking in the calm and casual atmosphere at home.


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