Disclaimer : I don't own Hikaru no Go.
A/N : Hi guys! This is my 13th fic, lucky number, isn't it? It's also my 1st Alternate Universe fic! Oh god, I'm so nervous.
"Blahblahblah": character's normal conversation
Blahblahblah : character's thought
Be with you, always
Chapter 1: Good news? Bad news? Shocking news?
October 1999, Haze Junior High school,
/ Huff …Huff/
" Hurry up, Hikaru," Sai urged eagerly.
" Sorry! I'm late again!" Slamming a door, Hikaru stormed into the science lab, where the Go club was.
" Sorry! We're late!" Sai apologized, yet, no one could hear him, except his student.
" Hikaru, where have you been?" With both hands on her waists, Fujisaki Akari, interrogated her best friend, " I thought that you skipped the club today,"
Panting for breath, the exhausted newcomer wearily plodded to the nearest chair, " Kai..Kaido-Sensei asked me to help her to carry those thick books to the library… huff, huff,"
" Here, have some tea, Shindou-san," Mitani offered the new comer a cup of tea, " Be careful, it's hot," he said gently.
" Thank you, Mitani-kun, you're so kind," Receiving the cup from the orange-haired boy, Hikaru thanked him with a soft smile, " Unlike someone I know,"
" Hikaru!" Knowing she was that one, Akari whined.
" Haha," The other members just laughed delightfully, there were Tsutsui, Natsume and Kumiko.
" Ne, Hikaru, Let's tell them," the happy-go-lucky ghost spoke impatiently.
" Yes! I almost forget!" Getting up, Hikaru said enthusiastically, " Ne, guys, I've a good news!"
" What? Are you two getting engaged or something" Tsutsui Kimihiro, the oldest student, teased playfully.
" Tsutsui-san!" Shouting loudly, Mitani went into deep red.
" Eh?" Too bad, the green-eyed Go lover didn't get it, " Anyway, Guess what? I passed the insei exam!" Clapping in delight, Sai's young apprentice was bouncing off the wall.
" What?" Mitani and Tsutsui exclaimed in shock, the rest simply blinked innocently and got puzzled, they didn't know what the insei was.
" That's right, Shirakawa-Sensei himself took me to the Japanese Go Association," Hikaru proudly reported.
" Yes! Yes! We went there yesterday!" the stunning ghost added.
" I'll start my insei class this coming December! God! I'm so excited!" Sai'ssuccessor beamed gladly, " It's like a stepping stone to the Pro world,"
" Isn't that great?" Sai strongly agreed, he was excited as much as his student. One more step closer to that man.
" Shindou-san," the orange-haired boy interrupted, " Aren't insei not allowed to play in amateur tournaments?"
" Eh?" "Eh?"
" Oh! No!" the Heian ghost cried out in horror, " We completely forgot about that!"
" Tsutsui-san, what's the insei?" Kumiko questioned inquiringly.
" They're an army of children studying under the Go Association in hopes of becoming future pros," the boy with glasses explained, "While they're training, they're not allowed to enter amateur tournaments," Insei exam? Shindou can pass that exam?
" Are you saying that you're quitting the club?" Mitani asked in disbelief, " Our Go club," there was a deep sorrow in his voice. Are you leaving me?
" There's no way that Hikaru would leave the Go club," Akari declared boldly, she was absolutely positive about it, but when she saw the look on her forever friend's face, her confidence was shaky a bit, " Hikaru?"
" I…I…" " Sai, I"
" Even if you don't quit the club, if you're insei, you…," Tsutsui uneasily informed, " You can't be in the tournament,"
Looking at his friend, Mitani knew what the answer would be, " Damn it!" he stomped out of the room, banging the door as he left.
" Mitani-kun!" Natsume called out but the furious boy didn't listen.
" I'll talk to him," Tsutsui hurriedly ran after him, " Shindou-san, you'd better wait here,"
" Hikaru, why didn't you tell me about this before?" Akari inquired. If you had told us first, none of this would have ever happened.
" I…I wasn't sure if I could pass the exam," the guilty Hikaru answered quietly, " I… I only wanted to surprise you guys,"
" Tell me one thing, Hikaru," the brown-eyed girl seriously demanded, " Do you want to be an insei that much?"
" Yes,""Yes!" Hikaru and Sai said in unison.
" Are you sure this is what you really really want?" Akari asked solemnly.
" Yes!" " Yes!" the duet answered confidently.
" Then, I've nothing to say," the brunette-haired girl sighed, " Good luck then," she smiled tenderly.
" Akari," Hikaru uttered inaudibly, " Aren't you…aren't you mad at me?"
" Just because you wanna do what you really wanna do?" Akari chuckled softly, " No, never,"
" Besides, if you've already made up your mind, no one can make you change it," she smiled sympathetically at her childhood friend with an understanding look in her eyes, " No one, not even your mother," she joked good-humoredly.
" Akari…Thank you," It was a genuine heartfelt thanks from the future insei, " And you? Kumiko…are you angry with me?" Hikaru clumsily asked the other girl.
" Well, I'm a bit disappointed that we can't play in the tournament together," the short-haired girl made a clean breast, " But..no, I'm not angry," she spoke openly.
" What about you? Natsume-kun," Akari questioned the 3rd board player of the boy team, " Are you mad?"
" Me? Oh, no, not at all," Waving his hand defensively, the tall boy denied, " On the contrary, I'm very impressed,"
" You guys," Hikaru's green eyes now shone with sincere appreciation, " Thank you, thank you so much,"
" You're very lucky to have such a good friend like them," Sai who had never let his precious student out of his sight uttered warmly.
" Yes, I know,"
" But I'm worried about Mitani-kun," Natsume spoke up. He's the best player we have. If he leaves the club…
" He must be very angry," Hikaru let out a gloomy sigh, " I bet he hates me now,"
" Mitani? Hates you?" Trying her best not to burst out into laughter, Kumiko giggled with amusement, " You're so slow," Poor Mitani-kun.
" Well, she's right ,you know," Hiding his smiling face behind his elegant fan, Sai chuckled noiselessly. Extremely incredibly slow
" Sai, what do you mean by that?" Hikaru frowned, " Me? Slow? Even Shirakawa-Sensei told me that I was very bright,"
" Hahaha," the others couldn't help it, the blonde was amazingly thick.
" Mitani-kun, he's not mad at you," Catching his breath back, Natsume stated joyfully, " And he doesn't hate you either," How can Hikaru be this dense?
" But he…"
" He's just disappointed," Looking at her confused friend, Akari smirked mischievously, " He likes you, he doesn't want you to quit the club," she eventually spilt it out.
" Who likes whom again?" For a second, Hikaru's mind went completely blank as if the nerve system had jammed causing a brain malfunction.
" Mitani-kun! He likes you, Shindou Hikaru-chan!" Fujisaki Akari cast the light on her naïve bleached bangs friend.
A/N : That's right! In this universe, Hikaru is a girl! Don't forget to leave your review, I really enjoy reading and replying the review. As you can see, I tried not to directly mention that Hikaru is a girl, well, at least not until the last line :)This fic is really a challenge to me 'coz most of my fic take place after the Hokuto Cup, unlike this one that starts since Hikaru joins the insei, so stay tune
Shirakawa is the main turning point here, since Hikaru is a girl, he didn't kick her out from the class like the way he did to Hikaru-boy, so she continues studying in his class.
P.S. : There'll be many quotes, please don't get bored. And I have no intention to copy " Who say girl can't play Go" by Giftfrombelow.