It wasn’t until Akashi took the pawn he had moved few minutes ago, that Midorima realized his own mistake. And it wasn’t until the ache in his chest appeared, the slight bitter taste in his mouth, that his second mistake this day was to expect a 'I will stay in Tokyo' coming from Akashi's mouth.
The only thing he could do, besides closing his eyes for a few moments and pushing his glasses up to hide the disappointment, was to just remain silent about his own opinions because it wasn’t in his power to make Akashi stay after all. Once he had plans in mind, it was hard—and perhaps impossible—to make him step back and make another choice. His right hand tightened its grasp on the shogi piece, wood never felt this hard and piercing against his skin.
"I see" his voice was soft, considering how bothersome the heavy heartbeats on his chest were. No matter what, he had told to himself, he would never admit how much he desperately wanted him to be in this same city. Physical distance, he had come to learn from other people’s experiences, was a knife that digged deep down their skin. But such a pain could not compare to the thought of, despite being in front of each other, the distance was there. A void that couldn’t be filled with just words or promises that will fall into deaf ears. Nothing was the same as it used to be.
"When are you moving?" he continues with his next move, a Knight that was courageous enough to confront the lines of the enemies before his eyes and he brandished his sword against the threat of the other King. A risky move, he had to admit, but one who can’t sacrifice anything has it considerabily difficult to achieve their goals.
Akashi wasn’t sure why the softness in Midorima’s voice bothered him. It was unusual and different from his usual strong voice. The voice was weak. Akashi had always known Midorima to be one who could hold their own. He was independent, strong and intelligent which were the reasons why Akashi chose him to be his vice captain. But this sudden weakness wasn’t one he expected, or desired, to hear from him. It made the banging against his rib cage strike in pain.
"As soon as school ends." Akashi decided to keep himself from explaining that people had already came to his place to begin removing items from his current home. It wasn’t relevant and it was unnecessary for the conversation. Midorima didn’t need to know such. Akashi was almost disappointed by the simplicity of Midorima’s move. He should know better than to think that he would leave the king unguarded. He should have known that it was never that simple. Akashi moved his rook to claim Midorima’s brave move and denying it of its goal. As he observed the board, he could already tell that there were only a few moves left.
"I believe that there are also other things we need to discuss."
There was this specific time of the summer where the air would come heavy, if there was any to begin with. The sun burned more than any other moment of the year and today was not different from any other summer day. He could feel a small drop of sweat falling form his temple as he looked down at the shogi board, pieces meticulously and resourcefully placed on each square to prevent Midorima from winning this game.
"Regardless of the team and the school facilties, which are a bit worn out, the school’s name is well known outside the sphere of High Schools and my personal opinion is that the school itself is not a bad choice." he finally said, moving the piece he had been holding in his hand few minutes ago to the side, away from Akashi’s reach or so he thought. It wasn’t like him to accept defeat without putting a fight after all.
A pause follows, he quietly looked up to meet Akashi’s face and how the red eyes that used to look back at him were focused on the match and his throat felt dry, accompanied with the realization that there was something more, something hidden within the question and that mere fact was just enough to make him uneasy. What were Akashi’s truly intentions? He had a slight idea and, despite of this, he dared to ask.
"What about you? Have you found a school yet?"
It had been a while since Akashi’s eye had changed. It was obvious to everyone that as the red faded from his left eye, something inside him began to change as well.
While Akashi would call it more concentrated and more clear, others would call it more empty. He only thought of one thing. The thing that he found to be the most important for him and for his existence. Yet even know, there was a irritating knock at his chest he couldn’t quiet ignore. He heard the clack of the piece on the board, but still didn’t look over. The knocking turned into a bang as the heat made the air hard to breath.
"… Rakuzan." Akashi said with confidence. "My father said it would be optimal for me to attend." He turned back to the game in front of them to easily assess the mistake Midorima had made in his move. He plucked his piece with a swift movement before placing it down in its new location.
"My father has a new job, therefore, I won’t be in Tokyo anymore."
"Not yet. Though Shuutoku’s coach came few days ago to invite me to their team, and I’ve been considering the offer. That’s all."
Akashi shifted his weight onto his other foot as he kept his elbows propped on the edge of the windowsill. The breeze was warm, undeniably showing signs of the summer weather than approached them. Akashi’s chin rested in his palm as he watched the leaves gently rustle.
"Shuutoku? Its still around here, isn’t it? The team also has quiet a prestigious name." Akashi said, not yet looking over to meet Midorima’s eyes.
"It suits you."
"…Shintarou? Have you decided your high school yet?"
It wasn’t only an anticipation, I did manage to work as hard as usual. Even more, considering tomorrow’s practice was suspended. However, this week has been surprisingly tiring for me.
Practice is almost over. After its done, make sure you rest well this weekend, understand?