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It was a Monday, Hikaru's favorite day of the week. Being a sixteen-year-old Go pro, he no longer had to go to school, so he played Go every day. So, why is Monday his favorite day, you ask? Simple.

It was the day he had the most time with his rival, Touya Akira.

As per usual, Hikaru arrived at Touya's father's Go salon with a smile on his face.

"Hello, Shindou-san," Ichikawa, the woman at the counter, said. Hikaru went to that particular salon all the time, so he was well known there and got in for free.

"Hi, Ichikawa-san," Hikaru replied as he passed by. He walked to a Go table near the back, where his rival would always be found when he was there. "Hey, Touya."

"Hello, Shindou. Are you ready for another game?"

"Of course. I'm always ready to kick your but."

"You seem to forget that you have yet to defeat me at Go."

"Fine, then let's play."

So, they played a game, and then began their post-game discussion. As usual, what started as a friendly review soon became a fierce argument.

"See, you should have gone here, instead."

"Well, what if I went here? Then I wouldn't have needed to go there." Hikaru pointed to the top-right, and then the center.

"No, that wouldn't work, because then I would have gone here, and all of black's stones in that corner would die," Akira replied, pointing in the middle, near where Hikaru did.

"But then I could sente here, and in two moves, those stones would die." He pointed at the bottom-center.

"No, that wouldn't work, either, because I would have responded here, and cut you off."

"Oh, I get it. Well, then what if I had gone here before you made that move?" Hikaru asked, pointing to the top-left corner.

"Shindou, that wouldn't work. Then I would go in the bottom-right corner, and surround the stones there."

"But I'd go there and stop you."

"Then I'd go there, and all of those stones would die," Akira replied, getting annoyed.

"Oh, I get it. Well, what about here?"

"No, that wouldn't work either. And do you know how many times you've said 'Oh, I get it'? Five times!"

"I have not said it five times!"

"You have!"

"Have not! And you said 'that wouldn't work' at least seven times!"

"I have most certainly not! And that's an insult to yourself!"

"Is not!"

"Is so!"

"I'm leaving!" Hikaru yelled, and then stormed off towards the front counter, where Ichikawa put his bag.

"Fine, go!" Akira yelled back.

Hikaru had just grabbed his bag and was about to walk out the sliding door when he ran into a large figure and fell backwards. Worried, Akira got up and headed towards him.

"Whoa!" Hikaru said, falling on his behind. He looked up and his eyes became wide.

"Gomen, Hikaru, are you okay?" the figure asked, reaching a hand down to help Hikaru up. Hikaru and Touya just stared at the figure, while everyone else stared at Hikaru, not knowing what had happened. "Hikaru?"

Hikaru's eyes were watering. "Is it… really you?" He asked, tentatively.

"Yes, it's me. It's been a while, hasn't it?" the figure replied, helping the boy up. Once he was standing, Hikaru didn't pause for a second before running into the figure's arms.

"Sai," he said, tears running down his face.

"Sai?" Touya exclaimed, looking at the purple-haired man wearing the old Heian Era garb.

Hikaru didn't seem to hear his rival. "Why did you leave?" he asked the ghost. "I thought you weren't coming back…. How are you back?" He took a step backwards and looked into the violet eyes he was so familiar with, even after more than a year of not seeing them.

Sai looked at him sadly. "I left because it was my time. The only reason God let me become a spirit for a thousand more years was so that you could see the game between Touya Meijin and I." Touya looked at him, shocked silent.

"But, what do you mean?" Hikaru asked.

"I was only allowed to stay because you had to see that match and point out the move that both of us missed, the one move that could have changed the winner of the game."

"So… if I had never set that game up…."

"Hikaru, no, that game had to happen. Do not blame yourself for something God decided."


"Hikaru, I said it was not your fault."

Hikaru wiped his eyes. "Alright… But, why are you back?"

Sai frowned at the question. "I was sent to give you a message."

"A message? About what?"

Sai's face darkened considerably as he looked into the hazel eyes of his former student. "Apparently, God saw it fit to warn you that…" Sai looked down, not wanting to continue. Not only did he not want to voice the message, but he also didn't want Hikaru's green-haired friend, who he had realized could very much see him, to hear it unless Hikaru himself was the one to tell.


Deciding it needed to be said, he finished, "…that you only have one week left to live." A tear escaped his eye, sliding down his perfect-looking face.

Touya gasped. "What?" He was stunned. He could not believe that his rival was going to die.

Hikaru just looked at Sai with a sad smile, not noticing anyone but the person in front of him.

"Ne, it's okay, Sai," He said softly, wiping the tear off his friend's face. "It's okay."

"No, Hikaru," the ghost replied, holding back more tears. "It's not okay. It's not your time yet."

"But this way I can be with you, right? And we can play Go again." He still had not realized that Touya could see Sai, or that said boy knew what he was talking about.

"No, Hikaru. You must stay here." Sai did not want Akira to get the wrong idea, and he desperately needed Hikaru to see reason.

"But… how?" the boy asked, making the other two feel relieved that their friend did not, in fact, want to die.

"There is a way out of this. If you were to… fall in love with someone, someone who is willing to risk their life for you, then you won't…" Sai didn't want to say it. "…Then fate will be changed. It doesn't matter who, as long as it is a living person," Sai added, unsure of what kind of person Hikaru liked.

"Oh…. Does the person… have to know?"

"I suppose not, but you have to know they love you."

"Oh… okay…"

"And they have to be with you all day a week from today."

"Why?" Hikaru asked.

"Gomen, but I am not allowed to tell you why. I was also told that it would be a bad idea to warn you of this fact, but I feel it is your right to know. If you are to fall in love, the person is going to be… put to the test. That is why they must be willing to risk their life for you; because they very well may have to," Sai said, hoping this fact would not receive a bad reaction.

Hikaru's eyes widened. "So, I'm going to be putting someone else in danger?"

"I do not know, but it is possible. All I can say is that if you find such a person, then neither of you will die from what is to happen on that day."


"Hikaru, you must accept this fact. The world still needs you; people here still need you. You have to continue living."


After listening to the conversation, Touya decided it was his turn to speak. Putting a hand on his rival's shoulder, he said, "Shindou, I will help you find someone."

Hikaru looked at his rival, shocked that he knew what was going on. "Touya…" He realized what had been said, and his look of shock became one of gratitude. "…Thank you."

Touya smiled. "What's life without a rival?" He paused. "Besides… we are friends, you know."

Hikaru blinked, then smiled. "Yeah, we are."

Hating to end the moment, but knowing he had to, Sai interrupted, "Hikaru." Both boys looked at him. "I'm afraid I have to go now."

Hikaru's eyes widened. "Sai, you can't!"

"Gomen, Hikaru, but I must. Just remember two things for me. I will always be with you in your Go, alright?" Hikaru just nodded, eyes watering. "Also, and this is important," he stated, making sure both boys were paying attention. "Don't forget, the person you're looking for may be closer than you think." He glanced at Akira, and then his gaze went back to Hikaru. "Goodbye, Hikaru." He smiled.

The purple-haired ghost started fading away. "Sai, wait!" Hikaru yelled, reaching his hand out and running forward. But it was too late.

"Sai…" Hikaru said, falling to the ground, his hand limp by his side. His shoulders began to shake and his tears fell freely again. "Don't leave me again…."

Touya looked at him sadly. "Shindou…." He knelt down and put a hand on Hikaru's shoulder. Hikaru tensed at the touch, then, realizing it was Touya, turned around and began crying against his shoulder. Touya, slightly surprised, slowly wrapped his arms around his crying friend. "Shindou, it'll be okay," he said softly but surely.

Hikaru shook his head. "No," he said while crying, "it won't. He's gone… Sai is gone, and he left me all alone again."

Touya visibly tensed. "Then… what about me?" The hurt was clear in his voice, and it surprised the blond and black-haired boy. He stopped crying and looked up at his friend, unaware of their closeness. "Are you saying… that I don't count? I said I'd help you, no matter what. Don't you trust me?"

Hikaru looked into Akira's emotion-filled eyes. Behind the overwhelming sadness and hurt, he could see hints of concern, anger, jealousy, and… fear? But, it couldn't be… could it? Hikaru didn't understand all of those emotions, nor did he know the reason behind them. What he did know was that his friend was hurt, and he had caused it.

Understanding that what his friend said was true, and not wanting to loose the now most important person in his life, he said, "Gomen, Touya. I didn't mean that. I wasn't thinking when I said it."

Akira's gaze softened, the sadness and fear turning into gladness and relief, and the anger turning into a look of love. He looked away, not wanting the boy to see how he felt. "It's okay."

Hikaru smiled. "Arigato." He stood up and took Akira's hand to help him up as well, which elicited a light blush from him.

'He's so cute when he blushes,' Hikaru thought, fondly. 'Wait, did I just call Akira cute?' And did I just call him Akira? Well, it's okay to call him that in my mind, right?'

"Ne, are you guys okay?" Ichikawa asked. The two boys looked at her, and then realized that no one else had seen Sai, so they had no idea what was going on.

"Uh… yeah," Hikaru said. "I am." 'At least, I think so,' he thought. "Touya, are you?"

"Yes. Thank you for asking. And we're sorry about that. It's nothing to worry about or take note of. Really," Akira added.

"Oh, you're welcome," Ichikawa replied, blushing. Touya and Hikaru then said that they had to leave, and headed out the door and across the street, just incase someone had left right after them.

"Are you sure you're alright, though?" Akira asked Hikaru, worried.

"Yeah," he replied.

"You better be. My life would be boring without you."

"Touya, your life is already boring."


"Relax, it was just a joke!"

Touya gritted his teeth to stay quiet and then took a deep breath. "This is serious, you know."
"Yeah, I know." Hikaru sighed. Then he looked up. "I have an idea!"

"What is it?"

"Not telling! But can you meet me in front of the Go Institute tomorrow at two?"

"I have a match at noon, but I should be done a couple hours after. Will you be mad if I'm a bit late?" Touya asked.

"Nah, I'm sure I can find something to do. Besides, I'm friends with some of the insei, so I can say hi to them."

"Alright. Well, how about we meet at two-thirty, and if I'm not there, you can go see your friends, and if you're not there, I'll assume your with them."

"Okay," Hikaru replied. "I gotta go, or Mom will worry. See you tomorrow, Touya!" He turned around and began walking, waving back at his friend.

"Alright. Bye, Shindou!" Akira said, smiling and waving in reply.

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