Lather, Rinse, Repeat ch 2

Shikaku didn't win again for quite some time. He was actually fairly happy about this arrangement. He entertained the ghost in the board and got to relieve his stress and hone his skills as often as he liked across the goban.

He was slightly concerned though, he was recently promoted and married, so his downtime had shrunk. Troublesome. Maybe he'd work out a contract that mandated his work and wife gave him evenings off? Sighing, he slumped down bonelessly in-front of the goban and dropped his cheek to the board.

"Shi~Ka~ku!" Hikaru moaned, "Play a ga~me with me!" he paused, dancing in front of the man's closed eyes. "I'm going for the ghostly look. How's it coming?"

Shikaku glanced up at the sheet-covered ghost and sighed again.

"Yeah, alright, so it needs some work." Hikaru pouted. "Wanna play a game?" Shikaku bit back a grin. He really did enjoy Hikaru's presence, that the ghost didn't really need him to do much to understand what he was thinking was nice. He could go for hours with vague grunts and gestures and have perfectly comprehensible conversations. It was kinda relaxing.

Settling into seiza, both men got serious. Shikaku had both goke on his side so that he could place moves for the both of them.

"So what's got you so down, hmm?" hummed Hikaru.

Shikaku grunted, then relented, "Time is slipping away, I've got a wife now who wants a lot of my time." he sighed, "and I got that promotion I was worried about." he trailed off.

Hikaru laughed, "More responsibility that you didn't want, huh. Well, I'm sure it will all work out; we'll just have to set up some ground rules about how much of your time they can take." Hikaru grinned, "Can't leave me hanging, right? Right?!"

Shikaku laughed, "Who else would I complain to on a daily basis?"

"Right!" Hikaru chirped firmly.

Both settled back into the game, Shikaku was swiftly improving and was nearly starting to give Hikaru a run for his metaphorical money these days.

"So, thinking about adding a little tyke to the family anytime soon?" Hikaru wheedled. Shikaku flushed, Hikaru, chuckling in the background. "I haven't had a tyke running around in years," Hikaru gloated while watching Shikaku's face.

Shikaku leaned back, relaxing on the pillow behind him, and straightened out his face. "All in good time, all in good time. Maybe I'll make you babysit." He said while watching Hikaru's face out of the corner of his eye.

Hikaru's eyes softened. "I'd love to," he muttered, "But how are you going to convince your wife to leave the babe in a room with no-one in it?" He smiled mischievously at the pineapple haired young man across from him.

Shikaku's eyes gleamed, "I've got my ways, never you fear."

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Ideas and suggestions welcome!