As Shindou walked into the go salon, Ichikawa smiled and looked from him over to where Touya was seated and working on solving go problems out of a book. "He's over there. I'll bring you some tea in a few minutes."
Sliding his backpack off of his shoulder, he slung it behind the desk. "Thanks." He strode over to where Touya was sitting and dropped into the chair opposite the other boy. "14-5," he said after a moment.
Touya looked up. "14-6 is what the book says should be next, but you're right. 14-5 is a stronger option. 14-6 is juvenile play, but I suppose for people who are just learning, it's what they should learn first."
"Why learn to play badly to start out? Learn to do it right the first time!"
"Because, Shindou, your opponents aren't going to battling so hard that you need to make a battle out of every move. 14-6 establishes your ground without putting yourself at unnecessary risk." Touya started clearing the stones from the board and Shindou quickly started picking up stones, too.
"Bo-ring! Let's play. Ichikawa-san's bringing us tea." Shindou finished putting the black stones in the goke and took the whole bowl to his side of the board. "Hurry up! Nigiri!"
Doing his best not to roll his eyes, Touya scooped up the rest of the white stones and deposited them in his own goke. "Fine. Nigiri." He pulled out one stone from his bowl as Shindou drew a handful and placed them on the board.
"How do you always get white, Touya?" Shindou grabbed his stones from the board and put them back in his goke.
"By looking to see how full your hand is. If you grab as many stones as you can so that your hand doesn't close all the way, or if your pinky curls in on itself, I know how many stones are in your hand because we've played that many times." He motioned for Shindou to take his move.
"Yeah, but if you're the one grabbing stones, you still always get white." He placed his stone in the traditional opening move and glared at Touya.
"I don't know, Shindou. I have played black against you before, so I'm certain it doesn't happen every time."
"Seems like it." Shindou stuck out his tongue, then pulled it back in to smile as Ichikawa arrived with their tea. "Thanks!"
Ichikawa placed a cup in front of Touya as Shindou grabbed his own from the tray. "Here you go, boys. Say, Touya, you remember that funny English word I had you look up earlier? Is this why you blushed?"
Shindou paused with his cup mid-way to his lips. "You blushed? What word was this? I wanna hear it!"
"Ichikawa-san, you are a gossip and a-" Touya gulped as he looked at the expression on her face, "a credit to your family, and our go salon. However, please drop it. We're in the middle of a game."
Shindou snorted. "We're barely into the opening, Touya-san! It's not like I won't be hanging around for a while. What's the word? It might have made you blush, but I doubt it'll make me blush."
"Fine." Touya looked to Ichikawa and smiled. "Tell him the word."
Ichikawa clutched the tray to her chest and grinned. "Callipygian."
Shindou leaned his head to the side and looked confused. "Okay, the word is weird, but not that funny. What's it mean that's so bad it made Touya blush?"
"Look it up!" Ichikawa smiled
Shindou looked even more confused. "Do you have a dictionary?"
Touya smiled tightly. "No. I had my laptop yesterday and looked it up online, but I knew you'd be here today, so I didn't bring it."
"I take it this isn't one that would be in a regular translation dictionary."
"So just tell me what it means!"
"No." Touya toyed with a stone in his goke. "It's embarassing."
"Because Ichikawa-san specifically asked me if I thought the word applied to you and I said it did!"
"Now you really need to tell me what it means!"
Touya placed a stone. "No. You can look it up later."
"Just tell me, Touya." Shindou put one hand on either side of the board and leaned toward Touya. "Tell me!"
Standing up, Touya turned and started to walk away.
"Stop! We agreed that neither of us would ever walk away in the middle of a game again."
Touya came back to the board and slapped down another stone. "Oh no. I accidentally played twice in a row. My loss. I'm going now."
Shindou watched him walk for a few seconds, then groaned and stood up. "Touya!" He followed the other boy over to a storage closet and rolled his eyes as Touya opened the door and went inside. "You aren't Ochi, Touya!" He rapped on the door once, then shook his head and tried the door. It opened right away and he let himself in. "What does it mean that's so horrible you purposefully lost a game to me?"
Touya played with a dust rag sitting on the shelf. "It doesn't matter."
"Obviously it does, Touya!" Shindou grabbed the dust rag from Touya's hands and threw it on another shelf. "You're avoiding me. You're avoiding me over the definition of a weird English word. Obviously it means you think I'm a moron or potentially retarded or some other horrible thing, but I don't care. Let's just get this over with and go back to our game."
Touya shut his eyes and shook his head. "No, I guess it's not that bad. It's not-" He sat down on a stack of old issues of Weekly Go. "It means a person with a nice butt, okay?"
"What?" Shindou looked behind him toward his buttocks. "I do?"
"Yes, Shindou! You do!" Touya buried his head in his hands. "Isn't that enough for me to be embarassed about?"
"So, Ichikawa-san basically asked you if I had a nice butt and you said yes."
Touya pulled his hands from his face and looked at Shindou. "Yes. Now can we forget about this?"
Shindou laughed. "Why? She did exactly what I asked her to do and you gave the answer I wanted you to give." He held out a hand to Touya. "I just didn't figure on her being so crafty about it. Are you going to take my hand and get up or not?"
Touya swatted away Shindou's hand and stood up on his own. "You had her ask me instead of doing it myself? Why didn't you just ask me yourself?"
"Well, it's embarassing..." Shindou trailed off as Touya just looked at him.
"I'm going to kill you." Touya said as he grabbed Shindou by the collar of his shirt. "I'm going to kill you!" He pulled Shindou toward him and pressed his lips angrily against the other boy's. "If you EVER want to know what I think of you, just ASK!"
Shindou grasped Touya's hands in his own and smiled. "So, do you want to go out to dinner with me tonight?"
Touya let go of Shindou's collar, detached the other boy's hands, smoothed down the material of his shirt and took a deep breath. "I'll need to call my mother first to let her know I won't be home for dinner. I suggest you do the same."
Shindou smiled. "Okay, so let's do that, then a game, and then dinner, right?"
"Okay." Touya turned on his heel and led the way out of the storage room. Ichikawa was standing near the doorway, smiling. "You couldn't have just asked me if I liked him?"
Ichikawa snorted. "Like you'd give an honest answer. I had to get you thinking about him outside of go first so I could get your opinion of him as a guy, not just as an opponent."
Shindou stepped out of the storage room and smiled. "Thanks, Ichikawa-san. Where did you get the idea, anyway?"
"Oh, just Cosmo." She turned and went back to her desk, giggling under her breath. There were definite perks to her job.