Fandom: Hikaru no Go
Note: For chain_of_fics and for tarigwaemir for guessing correctly in blind_go. She asked for an encounter between Ochi and Yashiro.
At this moment, he was paying attention, but it was a difficult task.
Ochi tried to keep from showing any signs of nervousness or apprehension as he stared at Yashiro across the goban. He'd been waiting for this rematch for months, and it was hard to keep his mind from ranging forward ten, twenty moves. He needed to keep focused on what Yashiro would do next, not what he would do in yose. He vowed that this time, he would beat the Kansai pro.
Some of his peers had teased him for doing something so stupid as challenging Yashiro when he already had secured the right to play in the Hokuto Cup. For a little while, Ochi had wondered if he had made a mistake, but after much thought, he came to the conclusion he had been correct. He didn't want to be a member of the Hokuto Team if there was doubt about his right to be there. He wanted to be the best, indisputably so.
His grandfather has once told him to always shoot for the stars. "That way, even if you fall, you'll still have a chance to catch the moon," he had advised with a laugh.
So Ochi had fallen, but maybe what he got was even better. He had earned Yashiro's respect.
Even though they were in different institutes, it was inevitable they play each other again. When Yashiro had greeted him, he announced himself eager to play, promising that he'd gotten better and Ochi wouldn't catch him.
It was conversation that Ochi rarely shared with his competitors. Most of the time they walked into a match knowing he was a superior lower dan. This time there was a feeling of uncertainty, an excitement in taking the next step on the road to the Hand of God. Ochi could only think of one thing to call it.
He and Yashiro would enter that maddening dance that Shindou and Touya had perfected, the endless chase to prove their own skill, or to keep that one vital step ahead. They would play each other for the next decade, next half-century, always knowing that the threat of being overtaken or left behind was imminent. Through each other, they would become more than either was alone.
They were rivals. He could get to like the sound of that.