Disclaimer: I own this little idea… nothing else.
Okay, at the end you're probably going to think, 'What on earth was Iggy doing when she wrote this?' To be honest, this idea just popped into my head at 9:40pm on a Tuesday night. I have no clue where this came from. In fact, the idea was so random that I thought, 'This would better if it was an AU'. So it was changed. I also had some trouble deciding on what sort of title to use.
I did have a bit of trouble for dialogue. I wasn't sure what a toddler would say in this little 'situation'.
And yes, this is my first AU. It's only a one-shot, though.
"… five… four… three… two… one… ready or not, here I come!" Four year old Kohaku uncovered his eyes and turned around, automatically searching for the pink yukata that his sister always wore.
It was a nice spring day. The birds were chirping, the grass ruffling slightly in the gentle breeze that drifted past. The sound of water trickling from a nearby stream caught his attention for the briefest of seconds before he started to run, checking behind various bushes and trees for any signs of his beloved Ane-ue.
Kohaku loved to play this game. His older sister had called it 'Hide-and-Seek', and the little boy always had so much fun, exploring the small forest near their home. For obvious reasons, he was never allowed in there by himself, and Sango was always more than happy to play little games with him after she came home from school.
There was a park nearby, although a good distance from the stream if toddlers should happen to wander away while their parents or older siblings got distracted in a conversation with a friend. Trees lined the area around the park, although there were more along the forest. Bushes mainly covered the ground on both sides of the river, providing a futile resistance against the force of a small toddler accidentally falling in.
Sango generally hid around nearby trees. She tried to make it easy for her younger brother to 'find' her, and despite her attempts to make it easier, Kohaku never gave up the search. Whenever he 'found' her, he was always rewarded with a smile and a hug, her brown eyes shining with love and compassion in the sunlight and her hair gently flowing in the wind. Most of the time she tied it back in the grasp in a white ribbon to keep it out of her eyes.
"Ane-ue?" he called, peering behind a cluster of trees. As Sango had told him before that the point of the game was to hide and be found, rather to hide and answer when the person who was 'it' wanted to know where you were, he knew not to expect her smooth, gentle voice to call back. Even so, he could not help but call for her. He knew she would not be far off; she never hid that far from him. Plus, he loved the rewarding hugs he received whenever he had 'found' her.
She was watching him. She had chosen to hide indirectly behind him by a few feet, only a tree concealing the side of her yukata as she looked around the trunk. He was running behind the bushes, calling out her name every now and then. The sight made her smile.
He was wearing a light blue and white striped shirt, and light beige shorts. His dark hair barely reached his neckline and his brown eyes looked bright and happy. The gentle breeze tousled his hair.
"Ane-ue!" his small voice called out again, this time sounding a bit more anxious than usual. Even if it sounded like he was having a hard time, she knew he would never give up. Besides, he would think about coming back to where he started searching for her anyway.
Sango slid down the trunk and sat with her knees pulled into her chest. She would wait a few minutes, then make some sort of noisy clue as to where she was hiding. Although he never gave up, she hated it whenever his determination turned into frustration.
They had been playing this game for the past few weeks, ever since Sango had mentioned it to him. This time, when he 'found' her, she would not only reward him with a hug, but with a tickle fight. Whenever she 'challenged' him to a tickle fight, the sound of his laughter would fill the house and bring smiles to both Sango and her father.
"Ane-ue!" he repeated. This time, however, his voice was coming closer. He only needed to look behind and he would see her. "Ane-ue, I can't -"
Suddenly a pair of hands grabbed his waist and pulled him back down. Her arms crossed over his waist, successfully trapping him. Squirming, the small toddler attempted to escape the unrelenting grasp of his sister.
"Ane-ue, lemme go!" he protested, although a smile remained on his face. "Ane-ue! Lemme go!"
For a moment, she moved her arms away his waist, as if permitting him to get back up. Which he tried to do, but he wasn't quite fast enough. Her arms closed over his tummy again, preventing him from his escape. Her hands moved towards his sides to find the most ticklish areas of his body.
"Ane-ue," he protested again, a slight plea in his voice. He knew she was going to give him what he referred to as the 'tickle torture'. "Ane-ue, no! This - this isn't f -"
Too late. A bunch of giggling followed his weak sentence as her fingers attacked his ticklish spots.
"Ane-ue!" he tried to say, but most of his sentence was cut off with laughter. "This isn't… this isn't…" More giggling. "… fair! I never got… Ane-ue!" he shouted, his voice still trembling with the remnants of laughter. She momentarily stopped, her hands still suspended in the air for her next attack as he struggled to get out whatever it was that he had been trying to say. "You didn't give me a chance!" His voice turned to an accusing manner, something that amused her. Her eyebrows rose as he sat up and turned to face her, his cute expression looking slightly annoyed.
"You always give me a chance to get you back! That was no fair!"
She shrugged, her eyes twinkling with mischief. "Then get me back, Kohaku!"
Again, she reached for him before he could think fast enough about getting away. Her arms surrounded his waist and she gently pushed him onto the grass to tickle him.
"You're bigger… than me…" Kohaku squirmed, although his efforts were somewhat halted by the uncontrollable laughter that his sister was causing. "Not… not fair!"
After a few more moments of watching her brother struggle and plead, she relented, pulling back as he caught his breath.
"I'll stop, okay?" she said, her eyes still full of mirth.
"It's okay," he said, getting back up. "Next time I'll get you back! I promise!" he exclaimed. She grinned.
"I'll hold you to that."
She reached out and brushed some grass off of his shorts. "Next time I'll bring some lunch for us. We can have a small picnic lunch."
"Ane-ue?" he asked.
"I found you. Now you have to find me," he told her. It seemed he had forgotten that she had attacked him to give him a clue as to where she was, but she didn't correct him on this. She got up and went over to the tree, covering her eyes and starting to count.
"Ten… nine… eight…" she began. The sounds of a little boy scurrying away to the first place to hide filled her ears, and she smiled.
She would always find him.
Started writing – July 5th, 2005
Finished typing - July 10th, 2005
Posted - July 14th, 2005
Like I said before, this was very random. I started to type it out as if they were younger, when they weren't yet in training, but it just didn't work because of Sango's age. (I like to stay as true to the anime/manga as possible, even with AUs) So I decided to switch it to an AU. I would have given a bit more background information, but as this was only a one-shot, I figured that there wasn't much of a point in doing that.
And before anyone requests this in a review, there will be no continuations. At all.
So what do you think? Comments/critisms?