phnx: (go-do-it)
Phnx ([personal profile] phnx) wrote2017-05-04 08:26 pm

Spelling Bee [HikaGo; Fanfiction; Gen]

Title: Spelling Bee
Fandom: Hikaru no Go!
Characters / Pairing: Hikaru, Akira, Kuwabara (gen, interpretable veryveryvery weak HikaAki pre-slash)
Rating: G
Word Count: ~1.3K
Summary: Somehow, the entire magical community of Tokyo being commercial sell-outs leads to Akira playing go. No, he doesn't understand the connection, either. Generic magical AU. For [personal profile] tuulentupa's unofficial blind go round, May 2017.

--------------------------------------------------




-Mahou no Matsuri-
Come enjoy Tokyo’s first annual magic festival,
Featuring some of our favourite magicians!


“Ugh,” came Hikaru's voice, rising mournfully from where his face was smashed into the table in front of him.

Akira couldn’t help but roll his eyes. It had been almost an hour since he had met Hikaru at their favourite outdoor cafe, and in all that time, Hikaru had said very little, choosing instead to scowl balefully at the cheerful advertisements around them, occasionally throwing a disdainful scoff or a pained groan at whatever banner he found most offensive in the moment.

It wasn’t that Akira was himself overly pleased at the prospect of the upcoming festival, but at least he had the maturity and self-respect not to collapse into a pitiful mess. He sipped his tea primly, reflecting on the vast superiority of his temperament with satisfaction.

In retrospect, he really should have known better than to ignore Hikaru, whose stages of grief seemed to follow the somewhat deviant path of denial, anger, bargaining, dramatic-but-brief adoption of a nihilist philosophy, and, finally, a return to denial. As it was, during the short span of time since Akira had turned his attention inward, Hikaru had managed to traverse the mental stretch to the final phase, and his expression went from desolate to ecstatic so quickly that Akira thought he must have whiplash. Or brain freeze.

Probably brain freeze.

Akira,” Hikaru began, his eyes glowing, “we can set up our own stand!

Akira said, “Ugh.”

--

The festival was, in Hikaru’s words, a commercial sell-out of everything they held dear to their hearts. Akira and Hikaru couldn’t be more different in their use of magic, but there were certain constants in their practices that they both held sacred: the smooth, ceremonial elegance of the preparation, the meditative peace of the spell being woven, the bright spark in the calm as the spell took its first, shuddering breath of life. In place of these familiarities, the festival was a mass of noise and banners waving in fluorescent colours, announcing their wares of charms, potions, wards, and--Akira wrinkled his nose--cantrips.

Akira had made polite noises in defense of the festival, but in all honestly, he agreed with every insult Hikaru had muttered about it. And now, here he was, facing the teeming mass of people from behind the rickety table Hikaru had scrounged up at the last minute. He was only able to force a passable smile by imagining what Hikaru’s face would look like when Akira was named the next meijin.

Thankfully, his smile wasn’t put to the test very often, as potential customers tended to steer clear of the stand that did, admittedly, look as though it had been decorated by a five-year old, or possibly a sixteen-year old whose stages of grief had a peculiarly circular quality.

As the sun rose to its zenith and Akira’s plans for Hikaru’s ritual sacrifice became more and more elaborate, the crowds finally began to thin.

Naturally, this was when Hikaru reappeared, smiling and flushed with sunlight and cheer. “Akira! How are the sales?”

“Terrible,” Akira replied with vicious satisfaction.

Unfortunately, the news didn’t send Hikaru into a puddle of depression; instead, he nodded sagely and said, “Yeah, that’s about what I expected. No one here has any taste at all.”

Akira took a deep breath and counted to ten before letting it out again, slowly. “Then why,” he asked, his voice calm like the eye of a storm, “am I standing here, roasting in the sun, attempting to sell our products?”

Hikaru frowned comically deeply, a parody of an expression of intense thought. “I don’t know; couldn’t you find a chair?” When Akira’s eye twitched in warning, Hikaru hastily added, “Well, who cares if we sell anything here? The whole point of getting a stand was so that we could participate in the competition, obviously.”

“...Competition?”

“Yeah, didn’t you read the signs? We’re all supposed to match magical forces or something.”

“...Or something.” Akira took a moment to stare heavenward in despair. “Hikaru,” he said carefully. “We don’t exactly throw fireballs. What kind of competition could this possibly be?”

“It’s a go tournament.”

“Go.”

“Yes.”

Go.

“Yes.”

“Hikaru.”

“...Yes?”

We don’t know how to play go.

“That doesn’t matter! It’s all enchanted, anyway. The goal is probably to manipulate the existing spells more skillfully than our opponents. It’ll be easy!”

--

It was not, in fact, going to be easy.

“Is that Ashiwara?!” Akira hissed at Hikaru from where they stood together in the long queue, awaiting their first match.

“Oh hey, it is!” Hikaru replied brightly. “And it looks like he’s partnered with Saeki! And--whoa, Ogata’s here, too!”

Akira buried his face into his hands. “Why is this happening to me?” he asked. “I could be preparing poultices right now, at peace with the world…”

A hard, sharp object thwacked against the back of his head, and Akira yelped in surprise. As Akira rubbed his sore head, Hikaru whirled around furiously, fists clenched, before all the anger suddenly drained out of him, leaving only pale-faced horror. Curious, Akira turned, too, and then froze.

“Ku-Kuwabara-sensei,” he managed, throat suddenly tight. “I--I wasn’t expecting you to be here.”

“Obviously,” Kuwabara returned, viciously gleeful. “Stop your whining, boy. Your daddy bet me 50,000 yen that you’d make it to the third round. Easiest money I’ve ever made.”

Akira felt as though he was drowning in a sea of his worst nightmares. “My father? He’s not here, too?”

“Of course he is, boy! He’s probably still lurking by the cotton candy machines.”

“Uh,” said Hikaru. “What?”

“And you,” Kuwabara said, turning on Hikaru and poking him sharply in the chest with his fan. “Some sort of prodigy, they say, hmm? Well, we’ll see about that!” Harrumphing meanly, Kuwabara stomped past them, leaning heavily on his cane.

“Did he just skip the line,” Hikaru asked, deeply offended.

Akira returned his face to his cupped hands. “I am never going to forgive you for dragging me here,” he said, voice muffled.

--

The actual competition, when it finally occurred, was actually rather nice. The go stones brimming within their goke were very old, and after starring in centuries of games, they knew the plays better than their professional players. All Akira had to do was dip his hand gently into the goke and let his fingers dance among the smooth stones, listening to their cooing whispers until they had come to a consensus about his next move. His opponent, who seemed to be depending on casting increasingly desperate good-luck spells, lost embarrassingly quickly.

Akira looked over at Hikaru to see how his loud, brash teammate was faring in such a subtle art, but was surprised to see Hikaru wearing a soft, secret smile, tapping his fan against his cheek and nodding along in agreement to an unheard voice. He placed his stones on the board with the confidence of an expert playing a novice.

Akira had never quite understood Hikaru’s specialty, since his skills and interests seemed to span haphazardly across a multitude of magical disciplines, but Akira had known instinctively from the first moment he stared into Hikaru’s guileless grey eyes that whatever it was Hikaru did, he would be amazing at it--the best at it.

Akira sighed when Hikaru’s opponent finally resigned. “Too bad. I guess that means we have to play another round,” he grumbled, feigning boredom.

Hikaru’s eyes lit up, and he laughed. “You won, too? What am I saying, of course you did. I knew you would. Between the two of us, we’ll win the whole tournament!”

Akira felt his whole being fill with the warmth of affection, like a thousand suns exploding within him. He said, “Fine, if we have to.”

--

They didn’t win the whole tournament, but they did win Akira’s father 50,000 yen.

END

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