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Chapter 11 - Lull

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 11 - Lull

Chapter 11 - Lull

His days visiting the Go Institute increased as the load at his workplace lightened considerably, especially with those interns he had helping him sort and record the data. Oh, the interns, how he just loved them so. Hikaru had not thought so at the beginning, when he was training the two interns where everything was, and how things were to be done. There were many mistakes and accidents in the beginning of their training, but as time progressed and the two interns got used to the pace around the office, they improved rapidly. Now all Hikaru needed to mind were checking over the nearly finished reports and compile them into one large statement to present to the boss. This, of course, left Hikaru lots of time to spare for getting around to finishing others things he'd left to the side in favor of his work.

Of the many things on his list, spending more time with his two disciples and their friends was at the top of his list, along with doing those household chores he'd been leaving half done, and doing something for Akari to show his appreciation for still putting up with his now even more hectic schedule. He decided that for the upcoming weekend, today included, he was going to finish as much work as possible in the office, go home and finish the chores that seriously needed to be done, and order some good Italian take-out—since cooking was out of the question for him—of course, it had to be the kind that Akari was especially fond of. Spending time with the insei, Hikaru mused belatedly, would be better off left for his usual visiting day on Saturdays. With that all thought through, Hikaru began to execute his plan of action in the most efficient manner he could—quickly, seriously, and thoroughly.

That evening, as he rode home on his bike, Hikaru stopped by the Italian restaurant Akari was fond of, placed an order and set a time for the delivery to arrive two hours later. He needed time to clean up the apartment without the distraction of good food lying after all. That, and Akari would definitely disapprove of his gluttonous self for devouring the food, as he had a penchant for doing.

Setting foot into the apartment suite, Hikaru quickly dumped his backpack on the floor, leaning beside the shoe cabinet, and rushed into the living room. Quickly and methodically, he picked up the random issues of various magazines and neatly piled them on the magazine rack standing beside the TV screen. Various other items and knick-knacks were carefully placed along the designated display shelf on the top shelf of one of the bookshelves situated along the wall. Dirty dishes lying about the suite were carried to the sink, dumped in and soaked in warm bubble filled water, waiting to be washed. Clothes were picked up, and either carefully folded and placed away or thrown into the hamper. A vacuum was brought out and floors were vacuumed quickly, before Hikaru rushed over to the sink to wash the dishes.

As he placed the last cleaned plate on the drying rack, the buzzer to the door rang. Quickly drying his hand on a tea towel sitting on the counter beside the sink, Hikaru went to answer the door. As he walked through the short hallway, he glanced at the clock to see that almost two hours had passed by since he arrived home. Stopping by his backpack by the shoe cabinet, he rummaged through it to find his nicely hidden wallet to pull out a few bills, then stood to answer the door. The delivery girl stood there with the boxes of food, repeating the contents of his order for confirmation, and then summed up the cost for the food. Hikaru paid her, told her to keep the change, closed the door and took the boxes of food inside to place on the kitchen counter. Calculating the time it would take for Akari to return home, he decided that he needed a well-earned shower. That and he was really smelly and sweaty, which of course, meant that Akari would be nagging at him to take a shower anyways when she got home.

It was to a surprisingly cleaner home, and the nice aroma of what smelled suspiciously like take-out from Al Porto Ristorante. This was something definitely worth investigating, was Akari's first thought, but it was quickly banished from her mind as she crept towards the living room and was presented with the sight of Hikaru setting out cutlery and dumping what appeared to be risotto into two stoneware bowls. Smiling as she watched the scene play out, she silently placed her bag down beside the telephone table and cleared her throat, announcing her presence.

Hearing the clearing of a throat, Hikaru flinched and tensed, his head slowly turning around to find a smirking Akari looking at him, and eyebrow raised in question.

"Uhh… Welcome home?" Hikaru said in a sheepish manner, giving Akari a nervous sounding laugh.

"Welcome home indeed," Akari agreed, her smirk still in place, as she walked over beside Hikaru and sat down. "What's the occasion?"

"Nothing special," Hikaru answered as nonchalantly as he possibly could, calmingly doling out the rest of the risotto into the bowl. He stood up, cardboard boxes in hand, and went to dump them in the trash can under the sink.

"Oh, is that so?" Akari continued questioning, her piercing gaze following Hikaru's movement.

Returning to the living room to sit beside Akari, Hikaru sighed exasperatedly, "Yes, I just felt like being nice today, so just shut up and eat."

Turning his head away from Akari's view, Hikaru scowled. The day was not turning out as he planned. Akari was just too perceptive and unrelenting with that skeptical look she was giving him.

Akari stared at the back of Hikaru's head, blinking at his reaction. She then grinned as she realized that Hikaru was pouting. The thought and image of Hikaru pouting sent her into a fit of giggles that led to full blown laughter.

At the sound Akari's giggling, Hikaru hesitantly turned his head back to look at her. He was not quite sure why she was giggling in the first place. Scratch that, she was outright laughing now. Scowling once again, Hikaru heatedly asked, "What's your problem?"

At Hikaru's question, Akari muted down her laughing, pinched on of Hikaru's cheeks and answered, "Oh, Hikaru, you're just too cute!"

Giving Akari a flabbergasted expression, there was only one thing on Hikaru's mind. 'WTF?'


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