title: conversation starter
fandom: Hikaru no Go
characters/pairings: Ashiwara, Saeki, Waya
rating: G
warnings: gossiping
summary: Ashiwara tells Saeki the gossip.
notes: written for Round 009 of blind go

Saeki had gotten the good booth, in the corner by the window. It was a bit of a waste since he was only having a coffee and snack before tonight's study session with Morishita-sensei. Still.

Ashiwara swept in, his head in the clouds as always, his hands busy and his mouth running. He plopped down opposite Saeki and shook his head right away, putting down his cup of tea with one hand and reaching out to straighten Saeki's napkin next to his plate with the other.

As expected, of course.

He also, as always, seemed to be mid-sentence when he sat down, but that didn't matter too terribly much, since Saeki only paid attention to about half of what Ashiwara said, and less if the topic was 'Touya-kun,' which it seemed to be, but after Ashiwara finished his story, or rant, or whatever, and Saeki had nothing to say, there was silence. For a whole five seconds. And then.

"Kurata-san is getting married."

Saeki nearly dribbled his coffee all over himself. He set his cup down and composed himself. And then, "What?!" he asked, in as civil a tone as he could manage.

Ashiwara gave him a funny, and slightly pitying look. "I said, Kurata-san is getting married."

"That's not possible," Saeki replied quickly, having anticipated what Ashiwara would say, being newly prepared for it.

Tilting his head to the side, Ashiwara regarded Saeki, puzzled. "It's not? Why not?"

A reasonable question, of course it was, and yet. "Is it an arranged marriage?"

"I don't really know," Ashitwara frowned. "Kurata-san brought her to Touya-sensei's house today, for brunch with Sensei and his wife. Touya-kun didn't really elaborate much beyond that. Apparently, she plays a bit of a go."

"Oh," Saeki replied, dumbfounded. Maybe... she was kind of a go otaku?

"She's a lawyer. Apparently, she works at a major corporation," Ashiwara continued.

"That's not possible," Saeki contradicted him.

This time, Ashiwara scowled at him. Rightfully so, but the expression on Ashiwara's face and directed at him left Saeki feeling rather uncomfortable. "Why not? What's the matter? Why are you having so much trouble with this?"

Saeki opened his mouth, but... really, what could he say? He had honestly no idea at all. "What about you?"

"Well, I'm not having any trouble with it," Ashiwara replied, slightly miffed.

"No, I mean, what about you, and marriage?" Saeki asked. See, that was the thing, right? People like Kurata-san... they didn't get married before people like Saeki! Didn't that mean the whole fabric of society would crumble? Did fabric crumble?

Ashiwara, though, just watched Saeki for a moment. And then he looked down at his tea, lifting the cup. "I'm not the one getting married," he replied coolly. Calmly, really. Usually, he wasn't calm. "You? You worried about marriage?"

"Not... not worried..." Saeki replied, sitting back. Kurata-san was getting married. Kurata-san. To a lawyer. A powerful lawyer.

Impossible.

"I'm not even dating anyone," he admitted, shaking his head.

Ashwara... actually narrowed his eyes. And then he put down his teacup, and stood up. "...Right. I know. Well. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Wait..." Confused, Saeki tried to stop him, but he was already walking off.

That was strange, wasn't it?





During the first break, Saeki asked Waya. "Have you heard? About Kurata-san?"

"Hm?" Waya was still staring at the goban. "You mean, him getting married? Man, everyone was talking about that today. Good for him, right?"

"Yeah, I guess," Saeki sighed. Waya wouldn't understand. He was that much younger than Saeki.

"Does it depress you? Shindou said he saw her, when he was leaving that Touya's place. Said she was pretty. And she was hanging offa him," Waya smirked. At least he was still staring at the goban.

Brat.

"I didn't need to hear that," Saeki admitted. Damn it... "Ashiwara told me. Acted damned strange about it, too."

"You mean, you acted strange, and he didn't coddle you," Waya laughed.

"You know, you're not as clever as you think," Saeki grumbled.

Waya looked up at him, looked him in the eye. When he looked like that, he actually looked like he might be smart. "Yeah, well... neither are you. Especially around him."

Saeki had no idea what that meant, but he also didn't think he wanted to ask.





The cafe was crowded. He wasn't sure there were any tables open at all... and then he realized that he knew the person in the corner booth. He sat down opposite Ashiwara. "Hey. You're early."

Ashiwara smiled at him shyly. "I didn't realize we had a set time here," he teased, but he looked a bit embarrassed.

Something in the way Waya looked at him came back to Saeki just then, and left him feeling unbalanced and uncertain. "Yeah. Well. Look. Um, sorry I was weird the last time... you know..."

Ashiwara shrugged, brushing it off. "Hey, don't give it a thought."

"Yeah..." Saeki sighed. "Well. Anyway." Ashiwara nodded. It looked like he was about to say something, so quickly, Saeki continued. "Hey, you had a really good game against Itou-six dan."

Ashiwara looked a bit too aware of how abrupt the change in topic was, but then he beamed. "Oh, yeah. Hey, how did you know?" Ashiwara asked, smiling again.

...Good.

"Well. I pay attention," Saeki admitted.

At least, it felt like an admission.








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