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Caught In A Ladder Chapter the Sixth

Title: Caught In A Ladder
Author: sinnatious
Rating: PG-13
Summary: A chance encounter with Ogata and a slip of the tongue turns Hikaru into a victim of Sai's success.  What is he supposed to do when even the truth won't save him?  Predominantly angst.
Author’s Notes:  A rather short chapter this time, admittedly, but it's either short chapter or long waits between updates.  I thought I'd try the short chapters route for a change.

Prologue - Nigiri
Chapter 1 - Unlucky Encounter
Chapter 2 - Trapped In Your Own Design
Chapter 3 - A Game of Patience
Chapter 4 - Rules of the Game
Chapter 5 - Steps in the Path

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Caught In A Ladder
 
Chapter 6 – Ko Threat
 
By Sinnatious
 
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Shindou tried to guess what time of day it was simply by the strength of the light on the pale blue wall. He’d been staring at it for what felt like forever, but had eventually decided that it was probably somewhere in the realm of mid to late afternoon. It was rather boring. If the Jyudan was so insistent on tying him to a chair when he went out, why didn’t he at least put him in front of the TV, or let him face that tiny window?
 
It had been a day and a half now that he’d been trapped in that blasted chair. Ogata hadn’t returned the night before as he usually did, demanding a game. Maybe he’d stayed out and got too drunk to drive home? If that were the case, though, surely he would have at least returned for a while in the morning to change clothes?
 
Hikaru shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Since he hadn’t been freed to go to the toilet, he’d eventually been forced to wet himself – or have his kidneys burst. In the end, he figured a little humiliation was the better of the two alternatives. Thankfully, Sai didn’t have a sense of smell – the ghost hadn’t noticed his predicament, and he made no move to draw any attention to it. He was terribly thirsty, as well, which had long taken precedence over his rumbling stomach. 
 
His ears picked out the faint metallic rattle of keys in the lock. Finally!
 
There were a series of thumps and shuffling movements, rustling papers and jingle of dropping coins that generally heralded Ogata’s arrival back to his apartment. After about half an hour of the Jyudan stumbling about, making himself at home, he finally came to check on his prisoner. 
 
The sho dan made certain he was wearing his best glare – not that it would make any difference – when the door finally swung open. It was about time.
 
Ogata took a couple of steps into the room, and then wrinkled his nose. “You stink.”
 
“I wonder why,” came the sarcastic response. Wasn’t the bastard at least going to offer some excuse as to why he’d just left for over twenty-four hours?
 
Ignoring him, the Jyudan untied his arms and legs and dragged him towards the bathroom – quite literally, as Shindou was having trouble getting the sensation back into his limbs after sitting in that awkward position for so long. “Get in there. Have a bath. Soap and shampoo are by the sink. And give me those clothes. I won’t be able to concentrate on our games when you smell to high heaven.”
 
Glowering, Hikaru complied, but mostly because he desperately wanted a bath anyway. He closed the door while undressing, making certain to hook his key chain to his belt and stow his wallet with it, opening the door again only long enough to throw his clothes outside, before slamming it shut and locking it again. It was a somewhat nice feeling, being able to lock Ogata out, rather than him being the one locked in. Not that there was really that big a difference, as Ogata probably had all of the master house keys to unlock anything he wanted anyway, but none of that mattered – he got to have a bath! At long last! His entire body felt like an old sock! The brief refreshing he was allowed when Ogata gave him toilet breaks was hardly enough to feel human. 
 
Before settling into the hot tub, though, he drank his fill of water from the tap, the cool liquid easing the discomfort of his parched throat. It was invigorating, but not nearly as much as stepping under the shower and getting properly cleaned.
 
“You were sure tied up for a long time, Hikaru,” Sai commented needlessly.
 
“Hn,” the sho-dan agreed, as he sank into the steaming bath water. The ghost and he had long overcome their issues with modesty by necessity, though his companion usually faced away to be polite. Stiff muscles practically melted in the relaxing warmth. The teen just soaked for at least twenty minutes before he finally crawled out and set about washing his hair under the shower, then settled in to soak for another ten. Heck, it was better than being forced to stare at a wall or play tense games of Go with his captor.   
 
When Hikaru eventually poked his head out of the bathroom, dressed in a towel, he saw a pile of folded clothes sitting outside the door. More of Ogata’s too-big castaways, by the looks of it. He wrinkled his nose in distaste, but snatched them up and got dressed anyway. Hopefully he’d get his own pants back after they’d been laundered.
 
Ogata was already setting up a go board when he reluctantly emerged. He eyed the path to the front door warily, wondering if he’d be able to reach it before the Jyudan if he bolted. Probably not – even if he was faster, Ogata was closer and had longer reach. The most he could hope for was making it into the hallway, and that wasn’t good enough. Clearing his throat, he asked, “Could I get something to eat?”
 
Huffing, obviously annoyed, the Jyudan shuffled him into the kitchen, rummaging through the cupboards and then throwing him a large packet of chips. Junk food wasn’t exactly what he’d had in mind, but Hikaru was hungry enough that he didn’t care, munching on the chips eagerly with his left hand, keeping his right free to handle the stones as they sat down to play. 
 
The sho-dan lost the first game rather horribly, but that was to be expected as his concentration was shot by hunger and fatigue. The dark look the Jyudan sent him made him flinch, and he put more effort into the next game, but was still forced to resign well before they got into the end game. 
 
“What’s wrong, Hikaru? You’re not playing very well,” Sai remarked.
 
“Having trouble concentrating today,” came the short reply. 
 
Ogata tapped his hand on the table impatiently as they made their way into the third game. The sun had set by now, and the already dim apartment was growing dark. Hikaru was itching to turn on the lights himself, but usually any movement he made to leave the table was frozen with just a cold glare from his captor.
 
Hikaru frowned as he placed his next stone, then panicked as he realised that he’d got his stones caught in a ladder. Ogata had noticed straight away of course, and was calmly steering them towards the edge of the board. His eyes desperately searched for a nearby group he might be able to link up with to help his stones escape, but there were none. It was a terribly beginner trap to fall into, but there was little to be done now that the stone had been laid. It was hard to resist the urge to sigh. He hadn’t played this badly since the preliminaries. 
 
“I resign.” Sacrificing those stones made it impossible to stage a come back. If he’d been feeling a little more confident, there was a possibility of salvage, but under the current circumstances it was more likely that the defeat would only become more and more humiliating the longer the game lasted. 
 
“About time. That was certainly disappointing.”
 
The Jyudan wasn’t wrong, but what did he expect? It was ridiculous to expect your opponent to play at all well under those sorts of conditions. It was practically a miracle he was managing as well as he was.
 
There was a painfully long silence as the two faced off. Finally, Ogata stood, and announced, “No more food until you start playing properly.”
 
“What? Hey!”
 
The blonde grasped the youth by his arm and tugged him to his feet, jostling him back to his room. “It’s obvious that you’ll continue on like this forever otherwise. This seems like the only way you’ll understand.”
 
“But you can’t-“
 
“I can’t? Who is going to stop me?”
 
The young pro had no response for that, so with no further ceremony the elder pushed him into the bedroom and locked the door behind him, calling through it, “Remember, Shindou. All you have to do is play as Sai.”
 
“Go to hell!” he yelled in response, then flopped onto the thin, old futon tiredly. It looked like Ogata wasn’t vanishing anywhere tonight, seeing as he hadn’t bothered to tie him up before locking him in this accursed room. At least it ought to be possible to get some sleep now.
 
 “Ne, Hikaru? What are you going to do? It’s been a week already.”
 
“I know, Sai. He’s more patient than I gave him credit for. If we’re lucky, he’ll have a visitor eventually – or if worst comes to worst, someone will eventually notice I’m missing and come find me.”
 
“But Hikaru… no one knows you’re here.”
 
“Ogata phoned my house, remember? Even though he didn’t leave a message, his number will show up on caller id. Of course, I don’t think we’ll have to wait that long.”
 
“Oh.” There was a long silence as Sai contemplated this, then he asked, “Do you think he really meant it? About the food?”
 
“I don’t know.” Though Ogata’s track record so far seemed to indicate that the teen could plan on going hungry.
 
Had it only been a week? It already felt like a lifetime.
 

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
May. 18th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)
Chapter 6
Good story.I wonder where Ogata Left to.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )