1) Phone Calls
A tall boy entered the salon, door ringing the small bell. "Welcome!" The salon owner said absently, keeping his eyes on the board between a spikey haired teen and a glasses-wearing red-head. Another boy, black hair cut just below his ears, was pacing near the from of the salon on the phone and cleaning up dirty dishes.
Isumi Shinichiro had just returned from another trip to China. His second stop, the first being his apartment to drop off his suitcase and take a refreshing shower, was their Go Salon. It was their favorite and the owner loved having them all despite Hikaru and Waya's rowdiness.
Waya Yoshitaka was hunched over the goban, tapping a stone against its side and a hand holding up his head. Ochi Kousuke was opposite him, reading another book and occasionally pushing up his glasses.
"Heya, Isumi." Waya called. Ochi turned slightly to peer over his book and nod at Isumi.
"Hey guys." Isumi walked over, straddling a chair to observe the stones. "Good game?"
Waya shrugged as Ochi shook his head.
Isumi stared at them. "Want to play 3 boards?" He pulled over another table and grabbed two gobans from nearby. Ochi grabbed the stones while Waya cleared their board. "We'll all play each other at the same time. It's easier than four on one because everyone has to play two games."
Waya shrugged and Ochi nodded.
"Ha! Fine, later then and you better beat the 7-dan." Touya wrapped up his phone call. "Hello Isumi-kun! How was Le Ping?"
Akari watched Hikaru walk around his room, doing a figure-eight around his goban, talking on the phone. She had scanned his bookshelf, pulling down one of the least used go books and started reading. Her childhood friend had been on the phone when she arrived, his mother having sent her straight up when she knocked on the door. That was at least an hour ago.
She tried not to listen in on his conversation, but the occasional 4-8 and 7-10 had her perking her ears. She quickly tuned out again as Hikaru continued his conversation with Touya, bleached bangs swinging with every agitated movement.
Akari wondered how Hikaru and Touya could have a conversation and still play a game of go in the back of their heads. Were they always playing go like this? Would she ever get that good? She looked up to Hikaru animatedly waving his hands around. He paused, "16-3. So Isumi was like, woah and Waya- ok, Isumi didn't actually say woah, he's way too reserved for that. Like you, ha." She tuned him out again, brushing her long brown hair behind an ear. He wouldn't notice if this book disappeared for a while. She scanned his shelf once more and grabbed three more books, each newer than the last.
She left, waving at him and knowing he hadn't even seen her sitting there for the past two hours. Akari sighed. Hikaru was go-crazy, and Touya-crazy.
"He's still talking with Touya-san." Akari told Hikaru's mom and left. He'd probably be on the phone for another two hours, talking and playing go at the same time.
3) Text Messages
Touya Akira's phone kept going off. The sound of Daiku drums interrupting the focused silence of the study room. He'd pick up the phone, answer the text and put it down only for the entire process to happen again less than five minutes later.
Ochi growled. "Do we need to postpone reviewing the game?"
Touya continued to stare at the board, "No."
His phone drummed again.
"Then silence it until we're done."
Touya sighed. "I tried that once." He answered another text. "But Hikaru started calling and leaving voicemails until my inbox was full and then he called the study room."
"He knows you have study group this evening." Ochi grumbled under his breath before continuing to defend his moves in the corner he lost to Touya three hours ago.
"Yes," Touya nodded. "But he thought we'd be done an hour ago."
An hour they had gotten halfway through the game for discussion. An hour ago when the drumming started.
The phone drummed and was answered, rudely, through the conversation. Ochi could read the lit-up screen.
"Hikaru Shindo: 14-9"
4) Conversation Interrupt
Hikaru's mother had decided her son and his friends needed a non-go activity. A full weekend so their minds were either unconscious or too busy to think about go.
So she sent them to a resort, scheduled every minute of their day with the staff and stayed to enjoy the amenities for herself. Their parents were happy to help fund and get them their at ungodly hours of the morning. Touya's mother stayed with Hikaru's, to keep her new friend company and ensure the boys didn't make too much of a mess.
Touya, Waya, Ochi, Isumi and Hikaru had been woken up early that day for a morning run and had been handed off from one activity to the next all morning. Their one hour break for lunch had them sitting outside, near the pool, eatting bentos and talking.
Touya, Ochi and Isumi were talking about something serious but not go - that had been nearly forbidden upon their arrival. Waya was staring at the pool, excitedly tapping his feet ready to jump in the moment they could. Hikaru was staring up at the clouds, occasionally taking another bite of whomever's bento was in front of him.
Slap. "10-4". Hikaru had slapped the table with his free hand, brows furrowed as he looked at Touya.
Their conversation stopped, Ochi and Isumi stared wide-eyed as Touya scowled at Hikaru, who smiled that toothy smile of his.
Hikaru started poking and ranting at Waya about the pool and whether they could jump the fence and just run in. Isumi jumped in, trying to convince Hikaru that wasn't allowed and dangerous besides.
Ochi watched Hikaru and then turned to Touya. He shook his head and pulled out a book, letting his sempai scowl at their table, tracing the wood grain with a finger.
"Hey, Hikaru," Waya handed over his friend's bubble tea. They were in Seoul to promote Go and play a few games. Isumi was at a similar event in China, and Touya in America. Ochi had entered a tournament and was unable to leave the country before he defeated all of his opponents.
"Thanks." Hikaru took a slurp. "What's up?"
"What's with the long phone calls?" Waya asked before mocking, "Calling your mom?"
Hikaru shoved the redhead, scowling. "No." He sipped some more of his tea, chewing on a pearl. "It's Touya."
Waya stared. "You're calling Touya every morning and evening and talking to him without yelling for two hours?"
"Mmhmm." Hikaru nodded, walking away towards their next engagement, a teaching lesson at a local Go Salon.
Waya jogged a few steps to catch up before drinking some of his own tea.
"Why are you telling him moves? Recounting one of your games?"
Hikaru shook his head. "We're playing."
Waya took a deep breath. He held it for a few seconds before letting it out slowly. "You can't wait until you're back in Tokyo?"
Hikaru turned to look at him, wide-eyed. Waya sighed again, "Of course not."
The Go Salon was only a few blocks away but their engagement was in an hour. They had plenty of time to walk and drink. And talk.
"You played without a board." Waya remembered. "Two games a day with Touya plus all the games we play, you're a monster."
Hikaru laughed. "Sometimes it's speed go, but not always. And we talk about other things too. We're playing a long game now."
"Yeah, so each call we give the other one move."
"Does that mean you two are finally dating?"
Hikaru coughed hard. Waya banged on his back until Hikaru was breathing deeply once more.
"Well, are you?" Waya took a sip. "And don't drink before you answer this time."
Hikaru looked down at his tea, fiddling with the large straw. "Yeah, we're dating."
"Good." Waya pronounced, ignoring Hikaru's nervousness. "When did that start anyway? I have a bet to win."
+1) Hearing Both Sides
Hikaru and Touya were walking to lunch, a sushi place because it was Touya's turn to choose.
Waya and Isumi ran up behind them to join them for lunch before returning to the Go Institute for more teaching games. As they caught up, the older pair heard them going back and forth, rapid-fire answers, one right after the other.
Waya and Isumi look at each other and look back at the younger pair.
Isumi dropped a hand on Hikaru's shoulder, "Are you guys seriously playing a game right now?"
Touya's glare moves to Isumi and he nods jerkily. Hikaru peered up at his much taller friend and smiled that terrifying smile. Neither answer and they return to their game.
Waya shrugged, "At least they're not yelling at each other.
Waya sighed, slouching as he continued following his friends. "This is why everyone is scared of them. They are literally battling for a corner in a go game with no board."
Isumi merely nodded. "Playing without a board is hard enough, but speed go?" He shook his head. "How long have they been playing verbally to do this?"
"A long while." Waya said. "Pretty sure they do this every time they talk."
The group got lunch, and bubble tea to go.
Hikaru and Touya went right back to their game, either no one had one yet or they started a new one.
"Do you think they're like this at home, too?"
Waya nodded fervently. "I think their sex-talk is like this."
Hikaru and Touya stopped and stared at the redhead. Isumi just sighed, long-since used to Waya's selective tactfulness.