title: rivalry
fandom: Hikaru no Go
characters/pairings: Touya Akiko/Touya Kouyo, others
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: She competes for his attention.
notes: written for blind_go, second round. last minute.

Before she left her house that afternoon, she checked the mirror an unprecedented four times. Her mother's hairdresser came that morning to do her hair just right, her aunt and her cousin had helped her get dressed, tying her obi for her. Her mother had done her makeup.

She had never been on an omiai before, and worse, she'd never really dated before, either. She'd been studious and good, and gone to schools where she had been sheltered. The young man was, by all accounts, a most prodigiously good catch. It made her nervous just thinking about it.

She and her mother were early to the garden they'd arranged to meet him and his mother. She prepared the tea, wishing that her sleeves were not so long; they kept getting in the way. What if she knocked over the teapot while trying to serve him? It would be a disaster.

He arrived, his mother on his arm, a discreet ten minutes late. He had perfect posture, and straight, simple hair. He looked straight ahead, always, spoke politely but infrequently, and mentioned the quality of her tea and how fine her fingers were.

He had an unusual job, but his mother assured her mother that he was a genius, and would be quite comfortable all his life.

She went twice to watch him play. The first time, she got lost in the Go Institute, and it caused a tiny bit of a fuss. A friend of his he'd introduced her to at the wedding found her and brought her to where she could watch the match, but she got the impression that he wasn't too pleased that she was there. She admired his play, though, even if she couldn't understand it. He was focused and serene throughout the match, exactly as she imagined a go champion to be.

She accepted demurely, though, that he did not want her there. She fancied that he didn't like that the other go players would become familiar with her, and justified it in that way.

The second time she came, it was an ordinary match day, although, as it turned out, he became a 7-dan that day. He was definitely irked to see her, but she quietly and insistently told him she needed a moment to speak to him. He took her to small and dusty room filled with more shelves and more books than some libraries. She touched his arm, and told him about her visit to the gynecologist.

She'd been a tiny bit afraid, which was why she went to tell him right away, but the way his eyes widened and the line of his mouth relaxed, she could tell he was pleased.

Eating in restaurants always made her nervous; it was proper that she should be the one to serve her husband and son, and their friends. This was an occasion, though. Everyone spoke of the Meijin title as if she should know perfectly well what it was.

She was proud of her husband, though. He looked so fine in his formal kimono and haori jacket. And apparently, he'd done something really amazing, at least for his age.

Their son crawled into his lap, and curled up there. Without breaking eye contact with the person he was speaking to, he put his hand on his son's head, and petted him gently.

She was really lucky.

She walked past his studio, watching him stare at his goban. She knew more about go than the average person, but next to nothing compared to him, and yet she knew the game just from the position of the stones, from his position as he stared at them.

She sighed.

She crouched onto her knees, and pushed open the door to the studio a bit more. He raised his chin a tiny bit, but didn't look her way.

"It's late, dear."

He nodded slowly. "I'll be up shortly."

She bowed, and pulled the door shut a bit.

She wasn't jealous of the person who sat opposite him at the goban per se, though he did look at those stones with more serious eyes than with he'd ever regarded her.

"Shindou-kun, you shouldn't be helping in the kitchen," she chastised him, taking the plate he was washing away from him.

"I'm sorry, Touya-san, but if I didn't try, my mother would somehow find out, and smack me," he teased.

He was such an unusual boy for her son to spend so much time with; he was always smiling, and cheerful, happy.

He was her son's rival, and that made him... the person her son always saw whenever he looked across the goban. She knew that much about go.

"Why don't you go back and join them?" she asked him.

He looked over his shoulder, his expression clouding. Her husband was still looking for that 'Sai,' and something Ogata-kun had said led her to believe that Shindou-kun knew where he was. Of course, her husband was thinking of Sai, always.

"If you don't mind, Touya-san... I'd prefer to stay here with you for a bit more."

Her eyes widened, but she couldn't say she was displeased. "In that case, let me make you a cup of tea. No arguments!" She smiled kindly at him. "There's nothing quite like good friends, good rivals, or good tea." She winked at him, and he smiled, and relaxed a bit.

"Touya-sensei is lucky to have you, Touya-san," he said easily.

It surprised her, though, because that was the first time anyone had ever said anything like that. No matter what sort of relationship this boy had with her son, she couldn't quite help liking him.