title: late night calls
fandom: Hikaru no Go
characters/pairings: Ashiwara, Saeki
rating: G
warnings: nerves
summary: Before the pro exam, he can't sleep...
notes: for monitorscreen, for this request on fic on demand.

He knew he shouldn't. He couldn't... but. He flipped his phone around in his hand. It was dark... but the moon was bright. Bright enough that he could see well in his room. Bright enough that he could see his goban across the room...

His stomach was doing flips. He felt like there were ants crawling all over him. He'd already checked three times, but. Ant free.

He knew he shouldn't. Couldn't. But.

He had the number keyed up. He shouldn't, though. He knew that... it wasn't like they were that close. The pro exams were... were stressing him out. They were stressing them all out! The exams weren't supposed to be easy. He knew that, and he needed to understand that Saeki needed his sleep. Just because he hadn't been able to sleep for days...

He sat up in bed, just giving up. He didn't need to call him, though... he shouldn't...

He slipped out of bed quietly and sat before the goban. He picked up a stone and rolled it between his fingers. He pressed it to his lips...

Next week, he would play Saeki. That game... that game could well be the one to determine whether he became pro. Whether Saeki did. The rest of their lives depended on these games they were playing, and if things went one way, they might enter the pros together. If not...

Funny. He wasn't even thinking about becoming pro alone. Just... just whether they could do it together. There was stiff competition. There always would be.

He placed the stone down... that wasn't the best hand. That wasn't even a good hand. He broke out into a sweat, and moved the stone. No, no, if he didn't protect the territory he'd built in the lower left quadrant, he'd lose in the endgame for sure. He moved it again...

He grabbed his phone, and pushed talk, hard. It rang five times, but before it got turned over to voice mail, it clicked. He could hear someone sleepily groaning, and then a voice became clear.


"Saeki... I'm sorry," he bit his lip, and closed his eyes tightly.

"Can't sleep?" Saeki yawned.

"I'm really sorry. I know this is... this is two nights in a row..." he apologized quickly.

"Are you sitting at a board, then?" Saeki asked.

Ashiwara blushed. He... he wasn't even that close to Saeki. Sometimes, during breaks, they got snacks together. Sometimes, Ashiwara shared his food with Saeki. Once, they went shopping together, because Saeki needed help picking out a birthday gift for his mother, but there were other insei there, too. Saeki bought Ashiwara's suggestion, though.

Still. Still... Saeki understood him. At least enough to understand this.

"Yeah... yeah, I am," he admitted humbly.

There was a brief pause, and then, "All right. All right... but one game. Ten second go, ok? No thinking at all, 'cause otherwise, I'm at a disadvantage. I'm white. Give me a sec, ok?"

Hurriedly, excitedly, Ashiwara cleared the board in front of him, just pushing the stones off instead of putting them away properly. "Ok! Thank you, Saeki!"

"If this is a plot to mess up my game, I'm tellin' ya, even if you are in Touya's group, I'm not going to be that easy," Saeki promised, his voice easy-going, rumbling from the sleep he was still shaking off... sexy.

Ashiwara blushed, and dipped his fingers into the pool of black stones. "D-don't worry. Don't worry... I know."