“Touya, is it your study group today or mine?” questions an old man sitting in an airy room, eating breakfast.
The dignified gray head across the table doesn't even rise in acknowledgment, but snaps out a tart reply. “Its Tuesday. That would be your group.”
The toast stops halfway to Hikaru's mouth. “Tuesday already? I would have sworn it was Monday.”
Never looking up from the magazine in front of him, Akira answers dryly, “No. Mondays are when I meet with Ogata's group.”
Taking a bite of toast Hikaru can't help but prod his rival. “You know, since you took them over from Ogata and have kept them so long, I think that makes it your group now.”
An angry flip of newspaper pages is the only sign of Touya's agitation. "They are his students, so it is his group."
Hikaru chews another bite of toast and adds it up. Nine, almost ten years now, since Ogata passed away...? But when he opens his mouth to remind his old rival of that fact, Akira cuts him off.
"Don't even start... It is early; I have been over this enough. Accept that I will call it what I want, and move on.”
'He is way too stubborn,' Hikaru thinks. Knowing Akira though, Hikaru lets it go. “Oh man, did I tell you that Waya wants me to tutor his granddaughter?”
“Yes.” A pause, then: “Can she play?”
“Who knows? Apparently Waya scared her so badly screaming at her, she drops the stones every time she sees him.”
“He wants you to tutor someone afraid of loud noises?”
“Shut up! I mean really. I am the Hon'inbo.”
“Yes well, Isumi must like being Meijin.”
Touya doesn't deign to answer the blatant taunt verbally, but raises one eyebrow significantly and favors his rival with an evil look.
Feeling slightly bad, Hikaru temporizes, “Well, if you hadn't had that heart problem, you would have won.”
Mollified slightly, Akira lets it go, “I am back in the league this year, we shall see how long he enjoys it,” he declares.
Hikaru munches some more toast before starting to eat the rest of his breakfast. Half way through his oatmeal, he decides to go back to his thoughts on class. “I am going to do something different today.”
“What, remember that they are coming?”
“No. I thought I would give them a game that they have never seen.” Hikaru looks off as if seeing something to his right.
“Where would you find a game like that?”
“I have some. Not great games, but they sparkle with possibilities.”
“Where are these kifu?” The suspicious tone makes Touya's eyes look almost like his younger green again.
“Hell, Akira, I could play out one of our best games and they would have never seen it.”
“That's not what your tone is saying. You were thinking about one of his games, weren't you?”
A guilty flush rises up Hikaru's neck. “Akira.”
Touya looks at his rival, then down to the paper he has been reading. “It is May.”
A quiet descends and lasts till they are both done with their breakfast dishes. These rivals-roommates and family needs no words for this part. Years of words are offered and countered in a single look.
"I still miss him," Hikaru mumbles, quietly.
Akira sighs. “I know.”