They don’t really have much in common, except Go and sex. Kiyoharu assumes the novelty of getting groped in store rooms between matches will eventually wear off, and he wonders with dread where they will be after that. Ko Yeong-ha, with his designer suits, classical education, Italian shoes, and movie star hair isn’t going to stay interested for long in someone like Yashiro Kiyoharu – who wears skeleton t-shirts, leather collars with spikes, and buys his bleach and hair gel from a drugstore. Clearly, the Korean pro is just passing the time.
Kiyoharu keeps thinking this way and gets progressively more sullen until Shindou demands he get a life and kicks him out of a study session with instructions to call once he’s gotten over himself. Even Touya politely goes out of his way to avoid his company, something Kiyoharu wasn’t aware was even possible to do politely until Touya somehow manages it.
As for Ko, he certainly notices the mood swings, but surprisingly doesn’t mention them for a long time, although he usually doesn’t let an opportunity to tease Kiyoharu pass him by. He is cheerful and even attentive, but Kiyoharu can’t seem to stop focusing on the fact that any day now he’ll be told to take a hike.
“Thinking is obviously bad for you,” Ko tells him finally, when he calls to say he’ll be in town next week and Kiyoharu can’t manage anything but monosyllables. “Whatever it is, you’re getting on my nerves.”
Here it comes, Kiyoharu thinks, but Ko doesn’t send him packing. Instead, he sighs and says, “I’ll pick you up at six on Friday. Get over it by then.”
He comes over on Friday and Kiyoharu tries not to focus on his ridiculous, European cable knit sweater – how much would that thing cost, anyway? – when Ko tells him, “Get in the taxi.”
“Where are we going?” Kiyoharu wants to know.
“To cheer you up,” Ko tells him. “Or to turn you green, whichever comes first.”
They pull up to an old movie theater, and Kiyoharu has to admit he’s confused. “We’re watching a movie?” He wonders what sort of movies Ko watches, and realizes he’s never asked. Probably something intellectual, he thinks with a glower.
“I saw that it was playing on the big screen, and I couldn’t resist.”
They climb out of the taxi and Kiyoharu sees the display for the first time. He stops in his tracks and stares, dumbfounded. “Jigoku?” he manages finally.
Ko turns to grin at him, looking thoroughly pleased with himself, and says, “Have you ever seen it? It’s completely terrible.”
“It’s great,” Kiyoharu says, still dumbfounded. He tries to imagine Ko watching bad horror films and can’t quite wrap his mind around it, except here they are.
“Exactly,” Ko says.
“I throw popcorn at the screen every time some idiot dies,” Kiyoharu warns him.
Ko laughs. “Good,” he says. “Sounds hilarious. Are we going to go, or would you rather stand around here until we miss the beginning?”
“I’m coming, I’m coming,” Kiyoharu says quickly, and follows Ko into the theater, unable to stop the goofy grin he is sure is splitting his face.
Suddenly, he’s pretty sure they’re going to be fine.