Ayatsuriningyou
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Omocha: Vision
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It first came when she was but five years of age, a weakly child who spent her afternoons tracing her fingertip over the thin rivers forming whorls along the glass pane of her small, empty room as it rained heavily outside. Pale skin, soft and cold and white like the banks of snow that came in darkest winter, was surrounded by a fall of straight black hair and set with a pair of large jewel-bright eyes that only served to magnify her constant sickliness. She was always small, a spindly little thing no one believed would live past her sixth year in life - and soon she would prove their dire murmurs wrong, as she often did - and far too tender to be thought strong enough for the shamanic abilities desperately needed in life. As she grew in her delicate manner, there was naught but predictions of death and faltering.

When she was five, she was visited by the Sight, just as her mother with her waving dark green hair had been and her voiceless grandmother had, and so forth back into the murky fog that was the source of all shamans. Her mother saw irresolute things in the mirror that was her familiar, glimpses of events that were to happen without the trace of doubt her grandmother's path visions had always spurred; her grandmother's visions were always thrice-fold, an explosion of possible paths and journeys that twined and winded around one another into a nearly incomprehensible mass. For her, though, it was people, represented more by emotions and a sensitive probing of their power than anything else, never fully certain what it was for sometimes it proved wrong. She learned very quickly that she continued to move when captured by the Sight in spite of her initial fear of silence and frozen limbs, and she dedicated at the age of five the time in her room to teaching motions to herself until she could move in set patterns and, later when she was no longer alone inside, graceful designs.

He was in her first vision - the one absolute vision she would ever have - filling her with an unshakeable certainty that he was coming for her even if he did not yet know it. Elements would be incorporated into her visions, a tying of each individual into the pressing divinities of the earth, and while she eventually recognized her own life as a soothing darkness, he was a twist of blinding electricity and obsidian waters. She told her father before she sought out her mother, clutching onto her blonde, strong father's narrow shoulders and feeling safe when she was pulled into a gentle hug, face pillowed in the crook of the elder woman's tanned neck. It had frightened her, waking with a snap from the images to find her knee skinned and her hands sprawled before her as she had fallen a ways down the sighing stairs.

When she was six, she thought she might love the man from her vision, with all the childish sincerity her fellow youths were professing amongst one another as they chased after the boys, who still strongly declared a dislike of girls. Sitting at home and reciting her prayers to Hao-sama as her parents did, she concentrated often on the glowing, hovering remembrance of powerful electric charges and did not miss the activities her peers engaged in. She knew, after all, that he was coming for her, and that one day she would have no need for the children who spurned her, week after week.

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At the soft age of nine years, she ran away from home, brought to dusky tears by the sound of her parents arguing, something she had never heard the two women discourse before. The mud outside in the sunlit spring air was a drying remnant of the squall from the week before, and the wettened dirt squeezed between her toes as she ran flat-footed, her breathing tightening, toward the woods. She stopped before she swept into the enfolding trees, hugging her arms over her thin chest and wrinkling her fingers along the black sleeves of her wind-teased dress. Times like this reminded her of how much, inexplicably, she wished she had never developed the ability to channel, accept the Sight, even knowing a lack of shamanic powers would lead to imprisonment in the detention centers.

Her father had sworn she would never be taken - but he was coming for her, she whispered to herself as she cried near the woods, keeping her lashed eyes glimmering at the aged tree before her - and her mother had insisted it must be done. A prophecy, her mother had cried, and she did not know what a prophecy was, she only knew she needed to escape from the house before her parents could yell angrier at one another.

By the woods she cried, ducking her chin to her collar and pinning it there as she wept silver tears to splatter emptily into the oceans of mud around her. It was cold outside, even if it was spring, and she wished, briefly, she had remembered to slip into a thicker robe to hide the prickling white skin exposed by short sleeves. Sinking down, not caring that she was kneeling in mud and ruining her fine dress with the goopy waves of shifting brown, she sniffled, blinking away the tears and lifting her face to shake away the dark strands of hair plastered to her face.

The sight of a kitsune spirit, the spectral manifestation of a deceased fox demon, robbed her breath, widening her eyes as she stared, transfixed, at the glowing red creature. It made a soft cooing sound, a rumbling purr she might have expected to hear from a feline, and as it peeked shyly at her from its stance betwixt two small trees, it stepped daintily forward. She was filled with wonderment, staring at it with an open-mouth expression of delight, and she leaned forward, pressing her hands into the mud and swerving her weight so it was evenly distributed from knees to palms. The kitsune ghost backed a pace, then, as if screwing together its courage, it sunk low to the ground, its fur puffing out in a radiant burst of fiery light, and it was hidden by the sparking, electrical orb that hid its own body from her sight.

Tachyon, it whispered to her as its name when she encircled her hands near this creature that would be her spirit ally.

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The summer of her twelfth year was a powerful twist of exotic things not fully expected; the Sight suddenly became more active in her, swarming into her collective consciousness with little, if any, warning, and a set of lightning storms never before seen of such magnitude arrived. Small animals, larger ones, too, were often streamed into town on the roaring waters of the screaming tempests, and the hidden power she had not told anyone of was wielded to heal fractures, gashes, sending the animals away to make new lives for themselves. Dusty roads were washed out and replaced with uneven ones of hardened mud, soon enough melted away by the next storm fast approaching.

Perhaps the one thing that meant the most, changed the most, was the unheralded end to her first vision with the arrival of the sullen man at the border of the town's woods, his pace unchanging as he swept over the muddied ground into town with no supplies but a trio of bladed weapons tied to a small bindle. Eyes of flint and hair of sleek black, tinged with the faintest threads of amethyst, he was cold and he was the man she had been waiting for. He found the house she dwelled in with her mother and father, entering when the sun had set into musky night, tendrils of water dripping in silent chimes to the floor from his red-clothed arms, away from the baggy trousers of black cloth. Her breath had frozen where she stood, Tachyon purring loudly from its position on the counter, protective shielding lowered so its spiritual kitsune appearance was exposed, and sensing her sudden alteration in thought, mood, existence, it whirled on its feet - teeth bared, claws twitching out, heady magick at the ready to dispense whatever punishment was needed.

He had calmly, in a harshly smooth voice, informed her parents she was to be sent upstairs until they were done speaking, and though her father was more than ready enough to land her fists upon his person, she nodded curtly and told her she was to go up the stairs. Her mother laid her hand to rest on her father's calloused one, and they waited steadily for his words. She crept up the stairs as quickly as she could, one hand flying to her chest and massaging hard against the painful pounding of her heart, pushed into breathlessness as she pulled the softly, questioningly mewing kitsune into her lap. Running her slender hand over the unusual fur - she had yet to fully understand why it was a kitsune ghost could have physical form while other spirits, tanuki aside, could not - and teasing its pointed, swirling ears, she leaned forward as far as she dared to listen.

The first few matters they discussed in heated spats of words were things she had long accepted and been prepared for: she was to leave, dark things were coming, and so forth. At length they muttered about Hao-sama and what was necessary, things needed to be done, and this too she ignored, for she thought it not worthy of her attention; it made little sense, either, for Hao-sama had always been ruler and she decided perhaps it was something meant for adults to ponder about in their odd adult ways.

Finally, the man spoke about something she was interested in, and she made a quiet noise to Tachyon, keeping her back hunched as she silently descended the stairs partway, peering secretively around the corner of the wall lining the upper half of the stairs. He was Tao Ren, he said in a cold voice that brooked no argument, invoking one of the enigmatic names people remembered from forbidden pasts, and her father, green eyes flashing with the livid threat none wanted to receive, demanded proof. The man nodded brusque consent, and undid the clasps of his long-sleeved shirt, peeling the dampened cloth from limbs and torso as he turned to show the massive tattoo lining his back. A faded scar of precise form, testimony to a particularly nasty blade forcing its way through his body, interrupted the pattern of flamed yin-yang, and a humorless smile crossed her father's lips.

She acquiesced to this man of unspoken legend, and he smiled just as sardonically back at her.
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Blabble: The girl was Hotaru, in case you couldn't figure it out, and her mum was Michiru, her pop was Haruka. Note for those who have read Shaman King as it's being released in Japan and whatnot…this is a what-if fic for the Mankin side of the story; ie., what if Hao won the Shaman Fight? Alternaverse for Sailor Moon, by the way (until later...*mysterious music*).

Thanks: Michi Hatabaki and Reihn MidNite. :] Many apologies for the length of time it took to get this out!

Request: Feedback! Feed me, baby!

Translations:
ayatsuriningyou - (stringed) marionette
omocha - toy
hensou - ?