Author: Tuulikki PM
Hikaru had a dream, of Sai, and of a fan, and he wasn't yet ready to wake up. This time he would find Sai again, if he'd have to search through the whole Dreaming. Characters: Hikaru and Nuala - though Touya, Dream and Death etc. make appearances.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Supernatural - Chapters: 4 - Words: 10,778 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 9 - Updated: 02-16-11 - Published: 02-12-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6737595
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 4: Soft sunlight, premonition of a departure
"Sai?" Hikaru stood up, slowly, unbelieving. "How..."
"Hikaru." Yes, it was Sai's voice (a real voice, and not just something he heard in the back of his mind), and after a moment of hesitation, Hikaru plunged forward and threw his arms around his friend and tutor.
"Sai! You did come!" He sounded quite muffled, as his face was pressed tightly against Sai's shoulder. "I didn't believe..."
Sai put his arms around him as well, and a long while they just stood there, hugging each other in silence. Then Hikaru finally pulled away, looking up at Sai, something wet glistening in his eyes.
"You came." His voice almost broke, and he cleared his throat self-consciously. "I..." he started to say, but fell silent. There were so many things he had been going to say, but now that he had the chance the words suddenly left him.
"Yes?" Sai looked at him with a small smile. "I'm told you have been very eager to see me."
"Of course! I've missed you so much and there are so many things that I should tell you, and... and I just wanted to ask... and I think I should say... but, but..."
Sai shook his head, amused. "Calm down, Hikaru. Come, let's sit down." He walked to the lake's edge and sat down by it, watching its calm surface. Hikaru sat down next to him, suddenly nervous.
"Why did you leave?" he asked in a small voice. "Was it... because of me?"
"Because of you?" Sai gave him a surprised look. "Why would you think it was because of you?"
"You wanted to play," Hikaru muttered, "and I didn't let you. If things were to be like that...why would you stay..."
Sai was shaking his head. "It was hardly my will, to go. I would have wanted still another millennium... or two. I tried to warn you – I did say I might not have much left, didn't I?"
"Yeah..." Hikaru stared gloomily at the water. "And I didn't listen to you."
"Indeed! You should pay more attention to what people are trying to tell you, and not just ignore them like that. You..." Seeing Hikaru's expression darken even more, Sai fell silent and went then on more gently, "I didn't want to go. I wouldn't have wanted to leave you, no matter what the things were like."
"Really?" Hikaru looked up at him, and he nodded with a smile.
A relieved sigh escaped the boy. "That's... good to know. I thought it might have been because of me. The games you played were so brilliant... surely it would have been better to let you play all the games, like Torajiro had done, but I just had to be such a brat and so selfish and... and... I'm sorry." He hung his head again.
"That's nonsense, Hikaru, and you know it." Sai's voice stern, as on those times he'd pointed out some stupid moves he had made during their games. "Maybe you were selfish, but so was I. In the end, this is your life. I had mine – and I threw it away. Talk about selfishness... that after a deed like that I would still hang around, demand to get to play more..."
"But..." Hikaru looked at him, surprised. "It's not your fault things went like that... if that cheater hadn't..."
"Nobody pushed me into that river," Sai said quietly. "I could have lived on, played my games when I was alive, but I couldn't see past the current situation... the court had been my whole world, and having been cast out, I imagined it was the end of everything, couldn't see the rest of the world that was still open to me. I was such an idiot..."
Hikaru stared at him, surprised at the bitterness he heard in those words. But then Sai smiled, that same old smile he remembered so well, and the moment was gone. "But it was so much fun, to be with you, Hikaru. I can't ever thank you enough, for that new life I got that I didn't quite deserve."
Hikaru felt heat spread over his cheeks. "Nah, it's nothing, I had fun too... So you're not mad at me? You'll forgive me?"
Sai smiled. "If you forgive me."
Hikaru grinned, Sai's smile widened, and they chatted on in the ever-pleasant Fiddler's Green, of Isumi's trip to China and of Mitani going to a tournament, and of the games Hikaru and Touya played, and as they talked, the sun on the sky smiled down upon them, softly caressing them with its gentle rays.
When finally everything had been said, they sat together, quietly, until Sai reached into his sleeve and pulled out his fan. "Try to take better care of it this time," he said to Hikaru, who took it, nodded, and woke up.
("About time!" his mother was saying. "I've called for you at least three times! You're going to be late from school at this rate! ...Hikaru? Are you crying? Did you have a nightmare? Hikaru...?")
From a window of the castle, Dream and Death had been watching the meeting. When both the boy and the ghost were gone, Death gave her brother a small smile. The kimono was gone, and she was again dressed in her usual black top and pants.
"This was kind of you," she said, and Dream gave her a blank look.
"If you say so, my sister." He walked away from the window. "Lucien," he said, and the librarian stood beside him.
"For the rest of today, I will be retiring to my quarters. I do not wish to be disturbed. There are many things that require my attention... but they can wait. Tomorrow... I shall work. But not today..."
"Yes, my lord."
"See ya, Dream," Death said as he left the room. "Take care." She moved, too, to return to her own realm, but a quiet "umm" stopped her.
She turned to look and saw Nuala peeking from the doorway. "Yes?"
"I was just wondering, my lady..." Nuala said, hesitantly, "but... was that really Sai? Did you bring him here? Or was it... a dream?"
Death smiled. "Perhaps... perhaps not... does it really matter?" she said. "The boy heard what he needed to hear." And she was gone.
Nuala sighed, still wondering. Then she ran after the librarian.
"Say, Lucien...do we have any books on a game called go? Anything real, I mean, not some weird things people have dreamed up... It sounds like a fun game, I wonder if I could learn it..." And she followed him into the library, babbling on about white stones that are like stars in the universe, and of something called the hand of god.
This was the last chapter. A very short one, yes, I know... anyway, it's done now. Thanks for reading, I hope this gave you at least some entertainment. ^^