title: Chasing Your Tail
fandom: Hikaru no Go
characters/pairings: Hikaru/Akira, their families
rating: G
warnings: sweetness
summary: after the series, Hikaru and Akira start to build their lives... together.
notes: for hikaaki, for fic on demand. squee. spoilers up to the end of the series.

Hikaru asked Akira on the plane back home to Tokyo. They had been on the road for the North Star Cup for nearly a month now, traveling in Korea and China as part of the promotion of the event. They had played most of the best players from both countries, and had learned a lot, not all of it about Go. For one thing, they had both learned that it was kind of nice to be independent.

Hikaru never thought twice about how quickly Akira had answered, and Akira had been careful to hide his blush. In the past few weeks, they had shared a hotel room most of the time, with Yashiro. It was comfortable, and fun. It had seemed very natural to Hikaru to ask, and natural to him that Akira would say yes, even if they still got into fights every time they talked about Go.

His mother had objected at first, but after Hikaru talked to his grandfather, an arrangement had been worked out. Hikaru's mother found an apartment in a nice, clean, safe building not terribly far from their house. The main disadvantage was that the only apartment Hikaru could afford half the rent on was a one bedroom. He explained that to Akira over the Go board at the salon one morning, apologetically. Akira nodded slowly, and carefully placed his stone. It didn't seem odd to Hikaru that Akira had no problem with sharing a bedroom.

Touya-sensei was there the day that Akira moved in, looming above them as Akira placed his few things in the apartment. He was friendly to Hikaru's mother, and apologized for his wife's absence. Hikaru's mother waved off his apology cheerfully, and dragged Hikaru into the kitchen to teach him how to make ramen.

There was initial disagreement over bedrolls versus actual beds, Akira winning out simply because the bedroom was too tiny for two twin beds, much less anything larger. There was disagreement over how to arrange the living room. Akira swore that proper Fung Shui demanded a certain arrangement. Hikaru argued that they couldn't see the tv while eating if they did it like that. Hikaru won, but he suspected that Akira wasn't really putting his heart into it.

After everyone left, they played a game of Go, and without the ability to run off when things got heated, it nearly ended in blows. They slept across the bedroom from each other, their backs to each other, both of them spending more time glaring at the dark wall than sleeping.

In the morning, though, Akira made tea as if nothing had happened, and Hikaru showed Akira the joys of eating energy bars for breakfast, and there was an air of pleasantness that left the two boys feeling bashful around each other.

Akari came over in their first week together, and she had a gift for Hikaru, for doing so well in the North Star Cup, and also to welcome him to his new home. It was a very old book of Honinbo Shusaku's known kifu. Hikaru had gotten very excited, and picked Akari up and spun her around, kissing her on the cheek.

Akira watched, his eyes nearly closed, his expression cold.

They went to matches. They went to training sessions. They went to the salon. Akira had lessons to give. Hikaru went to exhibitions. Hikaru made 2 dan.

Hikaru invited his friends over, but Akira arranged to be out of the apartment that night. Waya couldn't believe that Hikaru would want to live with Touya of all people, but Isumi quietly got him to shut up. The apartment was crowded with everyone there, but it was fun.

Hikaru missed Akira.

He went out some nights to visit Akari, to help her with her Go. Her high school did have a Go team, a fairly good one, and she wanted to play in the tournament. Akira was always more testy on these nights, and often snapped at Hikaru for no reason at all. The match to determine the challengers for the Meijin title was coming up, and even if it pissed Hikaru off, he dismissed it as stress.

Akira kept pushing Hikaru to come with him to his father's discussion group. Hikaru thought it might be disloyal to Morishita-sensei, although Akira didn't seem to know Morishita at all. Hikaru finally did agree to go, but only because Akira was in such a foul mood, he didn't want to aggravate him further. It was quite informative, really. Ogata-sensei was there, eyeing Akira in a manner that Hikaru didn't like at all. Ashiwara was very polite, though he seemed stymied that Akira-kun would waste his time on Hikaru. Touya-sensei watched them with quiet dispassion.

When the group broke up, Hikaru helped Akira clean up, cheerfully washing the stones in the kitchen sink carefully. Akira stood next to his father as they said goodbye to everyone. Akira's mother teased Hikaru about being in the kitchen when the men were in the parlor, but Hikaru was too quick-witted, and he soon had Touya-san giggling.

Akira's parents insisted that they spend the night, rather than go back to their apartment so late, and somehow, it never occurred to either of them to roll out the extra bedroll in the spare bedroom, rather than in Akira's room.

In the morning, Touya-sensei asked Hikaru to play a game of Go with him while breakfast was being prepared. It was just a short teaching game, although Touya-sensei gently probed Hikaru about Sai. Hikaru said nothing at all in reply, so Touya-sensei dropped the matter entirely. They went back to their game while Akira and Touya-san cleaned up, and as Hikaru pondered his next move, Touya-sensei asked Hikaru what his intentions toward Akira were.

They didn't finish their game, and Hikaru was pensive as they walked home. Akira chatted quietly, but he was never good at making conversation, even under the best of circumstances, so they lapsed into quiet. They wandered into a park, which Hikaru belatedly recognized as the park that he had gone to when he had first lost Sai. They bought takoyaki from a street vendor, and sat down on the bench to eat and watch the children playing.

Akira ate his treats slowly, savoring the flavor, the sunshine, the noise, and the air. It was easy for Hikaru to imagine that Akira had never gone to a park like this as a kid, that he had spent his youth bent over a Go board, that he had never had many friends, and that maybe, just maybe, this was a side of life that Hikaru could teach Akira about.

But if that was the case, then why did Hikaru feel so completely clueless?

Akira stood to get up, to go home, and only then realized that Hikaru hadn't touched his takoyaki at all. He looked down at Hikaru strangely. "Shindou?"

Hikaru stared off at the kids on the slide, their laughter ringing in his ears. "Would you have played Go if your father didn't play?"

"Shindou..." Akira smiled nervously, and then he stared at the slide, wondering what Hikaru saw. "I can't imagine my father being my father without Go."

Hikaru nodded slowly. He understood. Sai couldn't be Sai without Go, either.

"Why are you asking me this?" Akira sounded confused, almost hurt. Hikaru couldn't bring himself to look at Akira.

He chose his words carefully, not entirely certain what he was trying to say. "I didn't learn to play Go until I was much older, comparatively. Sometimes, I still feel so behind... But it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if I don't know the terminology, or the history, or whatever. Because I love Go. And I want to play."

Akira smiled softly. "I know."

Hikaru shook his head. "No. I'm not done yet. My parents think it's strange that I play, I pulled all my friends into Go... It's because of you, you know. I love Go, and I want to play, because of you."

Akira didn't speak for a moment. Hikaru didn't look at him, even when he sat down again. "I know, Shindou... Hikaru. It's the same for me."

Hikaru nodded once, still staring at the slide. "Akira. Good."

There was a moment of stillness, and not even the screech of a wronged sister on the swings could penetrate their peace. Then Akira pinched Hikaru's arm. "Does this mean you are going to tell me all your secrets now?"

"Hey!" Hikaru jumped up, making a big show of rubbing his arm. "What? Now? No, it's time to go to the Institute... we have matches this afternoon, you know! Stop nagging me!"

"Shindou!" Akira jumped up, his face reddening. "Hey!"

Hikaru laughed, long and hard, and ran off.

It was fun to run, knowing someone was chasing you.